COWBIT PARISH COUNCIL: Village to ask for share of £101,000 education cash coming from planned 45-home development
Cowbit is to make a claim for some, if not all, of a six-figure contribution towards education arising from a 45-home development in the village.
Outline plans to build the homes on more than four acres of land off Mill Drove South, Cowbit, including a payment of nearly £101,500 towards expanding Weston Hills Primary School, were approved by South Holland District Council last month.
But the prospect of Cowbit St Mary’s Primary School missing out on any financial benefits produced by the development was questioned during a parish council meeting on Monday.
Cowbit farmer Roland Biggs said: “With all the housing development in Cowbit, why can’t all the educational contribution be spent in Cowbit?
“We’ve heard it mentioned that there’ll be something put to us by the authorities which might be classed as future infrastructure.
“Can’t we get it brought forward or the £101,000 will go?”
In a report for the district council’s planning committee, it was stated that the education contribution should go to Weston Hills Primary School as Cowbit St Mary’s “cannot be expanded owing to site restrictions”.
But parish councillor Chris Elliott said: “Having spoken to the head teacher at Cowbit St Mary’s, I’m told that there are spaces at the school.
“The number of pupils enrolled there currently is 63 which is below its published admission number of 84.
“Not only can the school provide 21 more places for pupils joining the school but, additionally, it can apply to Lincolnshire County Council to expand the school without having to make any structural changes.
“The school has two additional rooms which can be used for extra teaching capacity and I was also made aware that plans had been drawn up to provide such capacity.”
Heather Sandy, the county’s interim director of education, said: "Cowbit St Mary’s Primary School has 84 pupil places and, with the housing development, we anticipate there will be more pupils than places available, with Cowbit as their nearest school.
"An expansion of Cowbit St Mary’s is very difficult due to the constrained site and we feel that we would not be able to deliver a suitable scheme to expand this school for additional children from the new housing development.
"There are a number of schools close by, including Weston Hills, which is a popular school that can be easily expanded.
"This would ensure that the education contribution is spent on additional pupil places in the area and enable house building to continue."