Decision made on Stowupland High School sixth form plans
Proposals for a new standalone sixth form block at a Suffolk high school have been approved, which will help the school meet soaring demand for places.
Stowupland High School, part of the John Milton Academy Trust, lodged plans for a new sixth form which would feature four new classrooms, media suite, performing arts studio, kitchen and common room.
According to the school, it has an admission intake of 185 pupils which Suffolk County Council said needed to be increased to 210 to meet demand.
The new sixth form will enable the number of sixth form students to increase from 185 to 200, but primarily would open up space in the main school to enable the number of students aged 11-16 to rise from 925 to 1050.
Despite concerns over traffic impact on Stowupland, Suffolk County Council's development and regulation committee unanimously approved the plans on Tuesday morning.
Karen Grimes, chief executive of the John Milton Academy Trust, said: "The trust is delighted that councillors unanimously approved plans to develop a dedicated, purpose-built, post-16 centre at Stowupland High School.
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"We worked hard to ensure that our proposals were innovative, detailed and well-considered.
"We fully acknowledge the concerns of local residents about the potential for increased traffic.
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"We are confident that we have built safeguards into our plans. Nevertheless, we will continue to monitor the situation carefully.
"This opens up an exciting chapter for post-16 learners and the local community.
"We look forward to a bright future that fulfils the trust's vision of ambition, aspiration and excellence for all."
Stowupland Parish Council had objected to the proposals, because of concerns surrounding traffic volumes through the village and around the school's entrance, as well as parking provision.
Councillor Sally Reeves, parish council chairman said: "Despite the benefits to students this may bring, the parish council have to continue to object because not enough consideration has been given to traffic considerations in the village."
The school's proposals include a new coach parking area, as well as a new cycle and footpath link and 57-space car park.
It is expected to create an additional 12 full time jobs.
A timeline for when work will begin has not yet been laid out.