Planning application to expand Norwich primary school submitted

Pupils and staff at Catton Grove Primary School celebrating after a good Ofsted report in 2009. Head

Pupils and staff at Catton Grove Primary School celebrating after a good Ofsted report in 2009. Headteacher Tim Lawes PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Plans to expand a popular Norwich primary school have moved a step closer after a planning application was submitted for the £2.8m project.

Norfolk County Council is hoping to build six new classrooms at Catton Grove Primary School to help cope with increasing pupil numbers in north Norwich.

The increased birth rate has led to growing demand on school places in urban areas and the council has increased the number of classes in some schools, including Catton Grove.

In a January report, the council identified Sprowston, Old Catton and Rackheath as a major strategic location which would need multiple new schools because 10,000 new homes were expected by 2026.

The school moved to three-form entry in 2011, and in order to cope with this increased demand, the school is being expanded to a 630-place school.

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Mick Castle, cabinet member for education and schools, said: 'This will help address the pressure on places we have experienced in the north of the city and ensure children in Catton Grove can benefit from the space and facilities they need to fulfil their potential.

'Catton Grove has been a great support in providing extra spaces over the last two years and this extra investment will help to ensure the school has the facilities it needs to meet the growing demand.'

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If the planning application is granted, the new building could be finished in early 2015.

Headteacher Tim Lawes said: 'Pupil numbers have increased gradually in recent years and we have embraced our growing population. Although we are a large primary school, we are absolutely committed to the individual needs of each and every pupil and these new classrooms will allow our children the space and facilities they need to get the best out of their education.'

The project would include new storage facilities, an extra nursery room and improvements to the existing Vic Hallam building.

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