A PUBLIC consultation on a controversial £20m special needs education centre for North Wiltshire will end on March 1.

Wiltshire Council has come up with plans for the centre in Rowdeford, near Devizes, which will replace existing provision at schools in Larkrise, Trowbridge, St Nicholas, Chippenham and Rowdeford, which will close in 2023.

There has been significant opposition from families with children at the schools earmarked for closure and protests held outside the council's offices so far.

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services at Wiltshire Council, remained committed to pushing through with the plans.

“The vision will mean change, and that can sometimes be challenging," she said.

"But we’re certain that pupils, families and staff will love the new schools. “This ambitious investment will transform SEND in Wiltshire and provide outstanding schooling for special needs pupils into the future.

“This will help our staff apply their expertise and experience in greater strength and with greater purpose."

The final decision at Wiltshire Council’s cabinet meeting in March 2019.

Submissions can be submitted by emailing specialschools@wiltshire.gov.uk