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Major expansion of primary school in Ipswich given go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 16:15 11 September 2019

Whitehouse Primary School is to get a new pre-school and extension to the main school. Picture: IPSWICH SOCIETY

Whitehouse Primary School is to get a new pre-school and extension to the main school. Picture: IPSWICH SOCIETY

Archant

The green light has been given for the last stage of improvement work to provide 210 more places for children at an Ipswich primary school.

Whitehouse Community Primary School has relied on temporary classrooms since 2010. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNWhitehouse Community Primary School has relied on temporary classrooms since 2010. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

In January Suffolk County Council lodged plans to demolish the swimming pool and temporary classroom at Whitehouse Community Primary School, and build a new pre-school while also extending the main school.

The decision was delegated to planning officers, who have now approved the proposal.

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council previously said: "This is the final phase of the project which will see the school capacity increase from 420 to 630 pupils.

"This project also provides a fantastic new purpose built pre-school building on the old swimming pool site.

"Once complete, the existing pre-school, Sunbeam, will move out of their current accommodation, which is within the main school buildings, freeing up space to allow for remodelling and extension providing additional classroom space for the school."

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The project follows the first wave of work in 2017 to create a new annexe providing six new classrooms.

The school was formed in 2010 when Whitehouse Infants and Whitehouse Juniors schools merged, but had relied on temporary classrooms for much of that time.

Planning permission has been granted on the basis that work begins within three years.

The pre-school will be housed in a new standalone building on the Ulster Avenue side of the school site, with a dedicated access also set to be created as part of the application.

The new extension will provide three new classrooms, while a new access route to the pre-school will be created through the Whitehouse Baptist Church site.

The proposals will then create a new car park for the church's use to mitigate the new access route, and change the gardens at the rear of the Ulster Avenue flats, which are owned by Ipswich Borough Council, for use by the school.

The annexe built in 2017 was given a 'Highly Commended' award by the Ipswich Society in its annual prizes recognising architecture and development in the town.

It is not yet clear when spades will begin on the ground, or when the new facilities will be ready to be used by teachers and staff.

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