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Coggeshall: Homes plan could fund new school building

More than 300 homes could be built in an Essex village to accommodate a new £30million secondary school.

Honywood Community Science School, in Coggeshall, hopes to move to land between the existing school and the A120 and create a brand new facility.

Land for the new site has been offered to the school by the Marks Hall Estate.

Money for the development would come from building an estimated 350 homes on the current school site, and part of the new land.

Part of the money would also be reinvested into the estate, a charity which runs the Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum and receives 30,000 visitors annually.

As well as a state-of-the-art building the new site would include playing fields, a theatre, swimming pool and gym open to the public.

The proposals place the fields on the other side of the A120 and would be linked to the school by a footbridge.

Homes, and a light industrial unit, would be put on 12 hectares of land to the north of Coggeshall between the edge of the existing village and the A120.

In a statement on the school’s website headteacher Simon Mason said: “Thanks to the unbelievable generosity of the trustees of the Marks Hall Estate we have been presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure something truly incredible for our community.

“A world-leading state school in the heart of our community will benefit a generation of young people.

“It will also generate a powerful drive for inward investment in this community from private businesses looking to recruit the very best young people into their firms, generating future employment and wealth for our area.

“Some local people would prefer not to have the additional housing in their community. We need to try our hardest to gain the support of these members of our community so everyone locally is pulling toward the realisation of this project, not spending their time finding reasons why it cannot happen.”

An exhibition of the plans goes on display at the Marks Hall visitor centre for four weeks from April 15, open Tuesday to Sunday 10.30am-4.30pm.

The display will also be at the school for four weeks from April 28, open to the public from 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday.

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