New school location announced
Gloucestershire County Council has today announced the location for the new £30million school in Cheltenham.
This summer the county council announced Balcarras as the successful sponsor of the new school, which will help the council to meet the demand for places forecast over the coming years.
If nothing is done to address the lack of spaces in Cheltenham secondary schools by 2019, all year seven places will be full and over 120 children will be left without a place. By 2021 this will increase to around 180 children without places, a figure that will continue to grow as each year passes.
After a thorough search, including surveys of land around the Leckhampton area, officers have identified a plot of land owned by the county council off of Kidnappers Lane as the location for the new school.
The land had previously been identified for housing, but this option was not taken up and so the county council has moved quickly to secure the land for the new school. The plans for the new school will be subject to the statutory planning process and key stakeholders will be consulted throughout the process.
Cllr Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for economy, skills and growth, said: “This is a major step forward in building a new school for Cheltenham and represents a big part of our £100 million investment in schools, and in the future of young people in our county.
“Now that we have the land in place, we can start the process and we will be looking for the local community to get involved. We will hold a series of consultation events where plans and designs developed with Balcarras will be shown, which we will look for feedback on.”
Cllr Iain Dobie, local member for Leckhampton and Warden Hill, said: “I’ve pointed out the need for a new secondary school in South Cheltenham for a number of years.
“It is important to the local community in Leckhampton and Warden Hill that there will be a neighbourhood secondary to which children can walk or cycle. It is good news that progress is finally being made.”
Dominic Burke, headteacher of Balcarras School said: “I'm delighted that a site has been identified and we can now start the process of designing and planning the school. It's an exciting project and we can't wait to get started.”
For more information, please visit: http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/cheltenham-school-planning.