School’s £2.5m annex could be ready next year

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SPALDING Primary School’s £2.5million annex could open in 18 months’ time to relieve pressure on places.

Meanwhile Lincolnshire County Council is seeking temporary planning consent for a mobile to be sited in the school grounds and the district council – a consultee – has raised no objections because it doesn’t want to see children being educated in unsuitable places like the staff room.

District planning committee chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones wrote a personal letter of objection over the mobile to his own council because of increased parking and traffic congestion as a result of increased pupil numbers at the school.

But at Wednesday’s planning committee the Wygate Ward member said the committee had to take a pragmatic approach as he understood the school would still have extra numbers – but use the staff room as an additional classroom.

Coun Gambba-Jones said that plan might disadvantage children.

He revealed he had talked to Lincolnshire County Council and they were saying they could have a new annex ready soon and gave an “extraordinary timetable of 2013”.

He said the district should make it clear they were only “reluctantly” supporting the mobile.

Coun Angela Newton told the meeting: “It’s certainly a pint in a half pint pot. For the children’s sake we should say ‘yes’, but I don’t think that’s a really good planning reason.”

Lincolnshire County Council say the annex will be built on land within Wygate Park and provide a minimum of seven classrooms for more than 200 children.

County director of Children’s Services Debbie Barnes said: “We are looking forward to providing new buildings and facilities for the school to benefit local families and their children in the local area.

“Subject to planning permission, the annex will be built on land within Wygate Park which has already been through the district council’s planning process.

“The building will include a minimum of seven classrooms and facilities for 210 children from Spalding.

“The likely cost of this project will be around £2.5 million but until the precise location on site and the design have been agreed and costed then we cannot give a more accurate figure.

“Planning consent and building a school of this size would take at least 18 months but the county council is looking at ways to quicken the process.”