Concerns raised over fate of junior school site

Calls are being made for the public to have a say over the future of Angel Road Junior School

Calls are being made for the public to have a say over the future of Angel Road Junior School - Credit: Archant

Fresh concerns have been raised about the fate of a school building which was allowed to deteriorate to the point that it can no longer be used.

Councillors want locals to have a say on the future of the Angel Road Junior School site, amid fears it could be used for development or non-educational purposes.

The building has been empty since last July, with pupils taught in space borrowed from neighbouring schools - with all children to be based on the infant school site from September 2022.

The junior school building, which is more than 100 years old, is set to be returned to the county council with question marks over how it will be used in future.

This has prompted calls for neighbours to be able to influence how the site is used in future.

Labour's city and county councillors for the Sewell ward have made five demands for the vacant site. These are:

  1. An independent investigation into how it deteriorated
  2. Full reprovision of a purpose-built junior school to replace it
  3. Parents to be involved in the planning process for the alternative
  4. No disposal or reuse of the site without a full public consultation
  5. All information about the school and future plans to be published

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But the council has said any questions over building management and funding should be directed at the Evolution Academy Trust, which has run the school since 2019.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, country councillor for the ward, said: "The county council is trying to dodge the cost of the new school we need and deserve because of their neglect.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for Sewell.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for Sewell. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

"All four of my children went to this school and close it is such a waste."

And Norfolk's Green party group has drawn up a petition along the same lines, calling for public consultation over its future.

Green Party member Alex Catt and city councillor Gary Champion, outside the disused Angel Road Junior School site 

Green Party member Alex Catt and city councillor Gary Champion, outside the disused Angel Road Junior School site - Credit: Alex Catt

Party member Alex Catt said: "The building has a lot of heritage and people need to know that it is going to be looked after."

John Fisher, NCC cabinet member for childrens services. Photo: Broadland District Council

John Fisher, NCC cabinet member for childrens services. Photo: Broadland District Council - Credit: Archant

John Fisher, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for children's services, said no decisions had been made about the school site's future.

He said: "We would always consider school land to be reused for education purposes first, but it is possible the site could be put to an alternative use or put forward for sale.

"Any use other than educational purposes would require permission from the Secretary of State and may involve a consultation.”