Council challenged on school project
By Richard SmithRESIDENTS fighting a plan for a new primary school on their doorstep have challenged a council to publicise the financial details of the project.
By Richard Smith
RESIDENTS fighting a plan for a new primary school on their doorstep have challenged a council to publicise the financial details of the project.
Melton Grange Residents' Association is opposing the multi-million-pound project to build a new school in Pytches Road, Melton, and turn the New Street Primary School site in Woodbridge into a library and new houses.
It has asked Suffolk County Council for details on who provided the estimate of £1million to £1.25m for refurbishing the New Street building.
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The association also asked if the county council was committed to compensation to the developers, G&E Woodbridge Consortium Ltd, if various planning permissions were not granted.
“The whole project is based squarely on the county council's view that the existing Woodbridge Primary School building is so bad that the only option is to replace it with a new school, and that the only feasible site for it is the playing field in Pytches Road,” it said.
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But the Association said a report from the Office for Standards in Education on the New Street school had found the accommodation to be satisfactory and there was no need to move.
A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “The £1m cost of refurbishment of the current building is an overall quick estimate based on Suffolk County Council's knowledge of building and refurbishing schools.
“It only includes costs such as replacing the outdated building and remodelling some of the internal facilities in the current building.
“Facilities equivalent to those to which the school and local education authority aspire, as provided by the new site, would cost at least as much as the new school.”
She added: “If the scheme fails to get viable planning permission, there would be no cost to Suffolk County Council.
“If viable planning permission is granted and the county council decided to pull out, there would be a significant cost to the county council.”