Secondary school in Halesworth could prevent 'difficulties' for town in future

Halesworth Town Council

The Halesworth Town Council have said the town may need a secondary school in the Neighbourhood Town Plan - Credit: Pixabay/Halesworth Town Council

A new secondary school in Halesworth is one of the ideas being considered in its draft Neighbourhood Plan because it could help rejuvenate the town in the long term.

Halesworth has a high number of elderly people and a school is viewed as a solution to not only an ageing population but an increasing one, too, with hundreds of houses due to be built in the area.

The Neighbourhood Plan cannot allocate a site for a new school, but it is looking to promote and support the principle of a new secondary school.

Halesworth Town Council

Councillor Joyce Moseley from Halesworth Town Council - Credit: Halesworth Town Council

Councillor Joyce Moseley said: "The town has a higher proportion of elderly people than similar market towns and unless that can change the town will face difficulties in the decades to come. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group began to think about schooling and looked at the figures of potential pupils given the increase in houses planned

"We concluded that a case could be made for a secondary school, including a sixth form, to be built in the town."

She emphasised it is a long-term aspiration and discussions are at a very initial stage: "We will continue to talk to people over the next few months and see where things take us it but eventually it will be for the local authorities to make decisions."

Other main topics looked at in the 100 page-plus document include housing - though the plan cannot stop housing projects such as those proposed in the Local Plan, it is one of the ways a community can influence how these developments take shape.

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Councillor Moseley said: "One of the major issues is the shortage of truly affordable homes for local people. In developments over ten houses the developer has to provide 30% affordable homes. We wanted to increase this percentage but this would have been challenged.

"We therefore propose that what is called community-led housing schemes should be explored - these not only provide affordable homes but they can be let to local people and be part of the town's infrastructure forever.

The town is also short of four bedroom homes compared to other towns, the plan therefore proposed a policy that should ensure numbers of larger properties do increase.

The draft plan and is currently going through a formal consultation process whereby locals can have their say from November 5 until December 17, to find out more visit: halesworthtowncouncil.org.uk.

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