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Call for community to decide school site
A PUBLIC meeting will be held this week to discuss alternative sites for a new primary school in North Swindon.
Swindon Council needs to create 90 reception extra places in North Swindon from September 2014. The council overall has enough places across the borough if the places are not provided, but council policy is to provide places in the community where there is demand.
The council has identified Orchid Vale Primary School for a permanent expansion of 30 reception places. They initially proposed to provide the remaining 60 places by building a new school on a site within the boundary of Mouldon Hill Country Park, with the use of the country park car park as an access point.
Shortly after the start of the public consultation on the proposal, Swindon Council has decided to expand the consultation to also seek views on four more possible sites in North Swindon.
The other sites are: another field nearer to the main entrance within Mouldon Hill Country Park; land in Redhouse Village Centre which was originally earmarked for a pub; green space alongside Clary Road; and opening a school earlier than planned at the allocated school site on the Tadpole Farm development.
Swindon Council’s Labour group will hold a public meeting to gauge public opinion on the alternatives at Brimble Hill School, Tadpole Lane, on Wednesday at 7.30pm.
Coun Mark Dempsey, the group’s deputy leader, said: “We need to get the location of a new school right. The Tory council’s preference is to build a school in Mouldon Hill Country Park. Local residents have expressed serious concerns about this site – damage to a country park, the risk of flooding, and poor access from Oakhurst and Redhouse.
“I want the community to be able to decide on where the new school is located so that we build the right school in the right place.
“Many residents want the school to be built closer to Oakhurst and Redhouse – where the demand for places is greatest.”
Coun David Renard, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We’re listening to the feedback we’re getting and alternative sites have been suggested so, although they have been looked at previously, I think each site has a certain amount of support and opposition, and we’re just taking the opportunity to review all options and to ensure everyone’s views are taken into account.”
For more Information on the proposals, visit www.swindon.gov.uk/northswindonprimary. The deadline is February 22.