New sixth form plans set to get approval from county
Plans to build a dedicated sixth form block at a Suffolk high school are to be approved next week.
A planning application for a two-storey sixth form block at Stowupland High School has been recommended for approval at Suffolk County Council's development and regulation committee next week.
The school, in Church Road, would be able to increase its sixth form capacity from 185 to 200 students, but freeing up additional space in the main school means it can up the number of 11-16 year olds from 925 to 1,050.
The new build is set to include a full-height performing arts space, common room, kitchen and media suite, as well as six classrooms, and will be situated on the edge of the school playing field.
The report prepared for next week said that some of the facilities would be available for community use after the school day.
The officers' report added: "The proposal adds a valuable facility to this large school, in a way that respects the landscaped character of the site and does not affect use of the sports fields or harm residential amenity.
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"The new building is well designed and makes efficient use of space.
"There would be significant improvements to site access by car, school bus, cycling and walking.
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"I consider the proposals represent sustainable development and accord with national and local planning policies."
It is understood the new sixth form would create an additional 12 jobs, and help address parking problems already seen at the school with an extra 50-space car park.
However, some concerns have been raised by Stowupland Parish Council, which said a full assessment was needed of the traffic impacts on the A1120, and added: "There is no certainty that the places for the sixth form will be filled".
The parish council also voiced fears over a reduction in cycle spaces, loss of some trees and consideration to additional fumes from vehicles in the area.
Sport England objected to the loss of playing field space.
The matter will be discussed on Wednesday, September 18, where officers have recommended it is approved.
It is not yet clear when work will begin if given the go-ahead.