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Final views on school wanted
8:00am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in News
RESIDENTS have just days left to take part in a consultation on five possible sites for a new primary school in North Swindon.
Swindon Council needs to create 90 extra reception places in North Swindon from September 2014.
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 decided to expand and extend the consultation, which closes on Friday, 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.
Coun David Renard, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We’ve had a lot of feedback from both the public meetings and online, and I’ve seen lots of comments on various Facebook forums. So there’s a lot of interest and comments so far.”
Swindon Council is currently processing the feedback ahead of a cabinet meeting on March 20, when Coun Renard will recommend a preferred site from the list, although he said they were all potentially controversial.
“There’s still some work being done around deliverability of a couple of the sites, so I’m not in a position to say which one is likely to be recommended, but I think it’s fair to say the Clary Road site has been ruled out on the basis it’s nowhere near where the demand is for places,” he said.
“And the original field in Mouldon Hill is looking quite difficult to deliver, now some more work has been done on that. “There are quite a few challenges that have come forward with that site which means it’s very difficult to deliver a school on that site: around access and there are mixed views about whether that was a good site anyway. So it’s not likely any of these will be brought forward. ”
Coun Renard said there were two top-ranking sites, to be announced in the cabinet report, which were being looked at in more detail to ensure they were deliverable for September 2014.
He said: “There’s a full table that’s going to be in the cabinet report, a double-page spread, looking at a whole range of issues in terms of how close each site is to where the demand is, how easy it is to deliver the site from a highways perspective – there’s a whole lot of issues to be considered.”
For more Information visit www.swindon.gov.uk/northswindonprimary