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First look at plans for brand new village primary school

Gayton Primary School. Plans have been submitted for a replacement school building. Picture: Ian Burt

Gayton Primary School. Plans have been submitted for a replacement school building. Picture: Ian Burt

A west Norfolk village is on track to get a new primary school to replace the current “cramped and dated” building.

NPS Group has submitted plans for a replacement 210-place primary school in Gayton and a new 52-place nursery.

Norfolk County Council, which is leading the proposals, has earmarked a parcel of land for the development between Springvale and Rowan Drive to the west and West Hall Farm to the east.

The one-form entry school would be arranged into two zones - one containing the classrooms and the other holding the library, assembly hall, reheat kitchen and administrative space.

The nursery would be housed in a separate building on the site, with two main classrooms, changing facilities, a kitchen and staff areas.

According to planning documents, the council's children's services department has identified a need for a new primary school in Gayton to replace the existing building in Lynn Road, which currently caters for 148 pupils.

It said: "In view of the continuing demand for school places (including from planned housing developments) the current school facilities are inadequate."

It added that, to accommodate anticipated growth, the site of any new school would need to be at least twice the size of the current 0.8ha plot.

Back in 2017 a site off Back Street was identified as the most suitable, but it was dropped at the planning stage over flood risk considerations.

While the proposed site near Springvale is not currently served by any utilities, planners said the nearby housing developments should make connecting to water supplies and electrical services easier.

Vehicle access will be via the existing Springvale estate road, although a number of trees will need to be removed to create a new junction.

Early public comments on the application have been supportive.

Sarah Richardson, who will have two children at the school from 2020, said: "The children and staff desperately need and deserve a new school in order to continue their fab work."

Katie Conner said the current primary school was small and felt "cramped and dated".

She added: "They are unable to offer things like assemblies where parents can attend and be part of their child's schooling."


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