Town plans remain on ice

THE biggest planning scheme for the centre of Woodbridge for many years remains on the drawing board while developers and the county council try to resolve legal negotiations.

THE biggest planning scheme for the centre of Woodbridge for many years remains on the drawing board while developers and the county council try to resolve legal negotiations.

The project to build a new primary school and turn New Street school into a library surrounded by houses and make other improvements was revealed by the county council two years ago.

There was a public exhibition six months later which generated a great deal of interest and the county council announced the new school could be opened by September 2003.

But since then there has been a lack of information about the scheme, there have been no planning applications and New Street school is waiting to hear if the move will take place.


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G&E Woodbridge Consortium Ltd is the development company working with the county council on the project. The developers will design and build a 210-place school in Pytches Road and they will be given most of the freehold of the current school site for the construction of houses. Part of the old school building will be used for a library, and the current public library could be used for health or similar purposes.

Brian Prettyman, the county council's school project manager, said: "The situation is that there are still some legal negotiations going on over the appropriate documentation. The developers will not put in a planning application until that documentation is fully resolved and signed."

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Jane Boyce, a director with G&E, said: "We are all working together on it. It is just all the legalities being sorted out and legalities are known to take a fair amount of time to get sorted out. I think it is just par for the course."

But Neal Montgomery, a school governor, said the delays were unsettling for teachers and pupils and he felt staff were becoming a "bit disillusioned because of the silence and delay."

Mr Montgomery said: "We have had no information from the planning people or the county council. There is also the issue of planning blight beginning to affect the school with people saying we better not spend too much money in case we are moving."

He added: "On balance I oppose the move of the school. I think it would have a negative effect on the viability of the town centre. Instead, if serious money could be spent on the school in its present site we would have better facilities and still have a school in the centre of the town."

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