Council spends £300,000 to buy house it sold 25 years ago so school can expand
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Council bosses have spent £300,000 to buy back a house they sold 25 years ago, because a school needed it to be able to expand.
The 210-pupil Browick Road Primary and Nursery School in Wymondham, rated outstanding by inspectors, is already oversubscribed in many of its classes.
And the building of more homes in Silfield will heap more pressure on the need for school places in the area.
With the school having little room for expansion, consideration had been given to building a new modular building, but that would have used up some of the school’s outdoor space and cost £135,000.
But, when the neighbour who lives in a house next to the school, originally built as the assistant headteacher’s home in Victorian times, approached the council saying they would be prepared to sell, it created an alternative option.
The council had sold that property back in 1995, but buying it again means the school will be able to use it for meeting rooms and space for children to work.
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Subject to planning and change of use application, the building will be used for additional learning and administration space, as well as the creation of new intervention and small group spaces.
Pauline McMullan, headteacher, said: “We are extremely grateful to Norfolk County Council for purchasing this property on behalf of the school, which is currently operating with most classes being over-subscribed.
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“This additional space will provide meeting rooms and space for small groups of children to work, which in turn creates some additional space within classrooms if pupils are able to work elsewhere.”
John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services at County Hall, said “The purchase of the property will help schools across Wymondham be ahead of the game in terms of providing space for children to learn.
“It’s also an excellent long-term solution that not only increases learning space but adds to the school’s outdoor space as well.
“Other options would have reduced that vital outdoor space in the short term, so this is a great solution and I’m excited to see the project develop.”
The council was not able to say how much it had sold the property for in 1995.