One step closer to new £30m school
The county council reveal preferred location for a brand new school in Cheltenham.
Working with planners at Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Council, the county council has earmarked land off Kidnappers Lane in Leckhampton as the preferred location for a new school.
The land has long been identified by developers for housing. However, it is predicted that there will not be enough secondary school places in Cheltenham by 2019 so the county council has thrown its hat in the ring and expressed an interest in the land for a brand new school.
If nothing is done to address the lack of spaces in Cheltenham secondary schools by 2019, all year seven places will be full and 128 children will be left without a place. By 2021 this will increase to around 188 children without places, a figure that will continue to grow as each year passes.
Although this location is the county council’s preferred option, Cheltenham Borough Council is the planning authority responsible for the land. All proposals for development will need to go through its planning process before the school can start to be built.
It is hoped that the proposals for the £30million school will play a part in Cheltenham Borough Council’s Local Plan, which is being presented to full council in December. If it is, it will help support the planning process.
If it is agreed to build a new school off Kidnappers Lane in Leckhampton, the council will actively encourage the local community to take part in creating the new school. This will include a series of consultation events which will ask for their opinions on ideas put forward by prospective developers.
Cllr Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for economy, skills and growth, said: “This is a really exciting step forward for the project and means we’re a little bit closer to a new £30m school to serve Cheltenham and the surrounding area. This will represent a massive investment into the future of young people in our county.
“There is still a lot of work to be done, but the ball is rolling and we will be working closely with our partners, stakeholders and local residents throughout the process.”
Cllr Richard Boyles, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We’ve said all along that there is a real need for additional school places in the south of Cheltenham. This project will help make sure education right across Cheltenham is fit for the future.
“By identifying a site that we believe meets the requirements, we can move the project forward and get a sponsor on board to realise this vision.”
For more information on the proposals, visit the dedicated web page at: http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/cheltenham-school-planning