Airfield developer to build new school

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 September 2012

William Ceron

MULTI-MILLION pound plans to create more primary school places across Weston have been put into action.

Proposals for a brand new school, along with expansions to two other primaries, have been recommended to North Somerset Council.

A new 420-pupil primary school is set to be built on the new Winterstoke development site, formerly known as Weston Airfield.

As well as creating 900 new homes, developer Persimmon has agreed with the council to build the new school, which will then be made into an academy and opened by September 1, 2017.

Persimmon has agreed to provide a building which can hold at least 315 pupils, with the ‘expectation’ that it will expand the school to welcome up to 420 students.

North Somerset Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services, Jeremy Blatchford, said: “This new school is very unusual as it will be an academy and will be built by the developer.

“At the moment the new school is looking to cost at least £3-4million, and the final cost depends on what we also have to add to it.”

The proposal for the new facility ties in with expansion plans for two other schools in the area, Ashcombe Primary School and Locking Primary School.

The executive has already approved a £4.25million scheme at Ashcombe in Earlham Grove. It will involve constructing a 420-place building and the school is looking to expand to accommodate another 190 pupils.

A second recommendation has been put to executive members to enlarge Locking Primary School in Meadow Drive to take on 420 pupils - an increase of 115 students.

In addition to these increases, Cllr Blatchford said more expansions may happen

He said: “It is possible that more schools will be expanded. The birth rate has gone up and one of the issues we have is the average age of someone having their first child is 32-34. It used to be 10 years younger but people have waited because they want to buy a house, pay off loans and build a career.

“We do not have a lot of money so we want to expand the schools as best as we can.

“We are trying to set something up so the Government pays for school buildings. We are now working with (Weston MP) John Penrose to get the money we need.”

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