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Which Suffolk school is in line for £2.4m for expansion plans?

PUBLISHED: 09:34 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 31 December 2019

Stowupland High School is set to get £2.4m for its expansion plans. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Stowupland High School is set to get £2.4m for its expansion plans. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A Suffolk high school which has had expansion plans approved is set to get a £2.4million boost for the scheme.

The sideview of the new sixth form centre at Stowupland High School. Picture: CONCERTUS DESIGN AND PROPERTY CONSULTANTSThe sideview of the new sixth form centre at Stowupland High School. Picture: CONCERTUS DESIGN AND PROPERTY CONSULTANTS

Mid Suffolk District Council's cabinet is next week set to give the green light for the seven figure sum to go to Stowupland High School, which is from contributions by housing developers known as Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

A pot of ringfenced cash exists for the Stowupland catchment area, meaning the school's expansion project is ideally suited to meet increasing demand for school places from new homes.

The school, which had planning permission for a new standalone sixth form block approved in October, will increase pupil numbers by around 150 students, as well as a further 15 sixth formers.

Councillor David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council's cabinet member for planning, said: "I'm pleased to see this project come forward to cabinet for approval. CIL funding is a crucial element in ensuring housing growth can benefit everyone, whether that be with a new school extension or a village hall renovation project.

Karen Grimes at the school during her tenure as headteacher. Picture: PHIL MORLEYKaren Grimes at the school during her tenure as headteacher. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

"If approved, this £2.4m to build a new sixth form centre, will see an increase of 140 sixth form and secondary school places and contribute to the four priority areas identified in the joint local plan - economy, environment, housing, and healthy communities and infrastructure."

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According to the council's report, it is anticipated that work will start in January and be completed by September.

Speaking after the application was approved by Mid Suffolk's development control committee, Karen Grimes chief executive of the John Milton Academy Trust which runs the school said: "We worked hard to ensure that our proposals were innovative, detailed and well considered."

She added: "This opens up an exciting chapter for post-16 learners and the local community."

The new building will include four new classrooms, a media suite, performing arts studio, kitchen and common room.

Alongside that, a new coach parking area, cycle and footpath link and 57-space car park will also be established.

It is expected to create an additional 12 full time jobs.

Keith Welham, Mid Suffolk councillor for the opposition Green group, said that the group supported the principle of developing a high standard sixth form, but had concerns over congestion.
He said: "The proposal to expand the school makes no provision whatsoever for reducing the congestion around the village green or in and around the village hall car park. Over 100 private cars drop off and pick up pupils each day on roads around The Green and in housing estate roads.
"Neither the school nor Suffolk County Council have consulted the parish council or residents on further stages of development of the school, nor community use of school facilities."

The council's cabinet will also sign off on the business plan for how future CIL money is allocated at its meeting next week.

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