Junior school unveils £4m transformation plan
PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 13 June 2019
A £4m expansion scheme at a Norfolk school will see it nearly double in size to cope with increasing demand.
Proposals to turn Hethersett Junior School into an all-through primary will see its capacity increase from 240 to 420 pupils, with two forms per year.
The centrepiece of the plan is a new fully accessible building with eight classrooms, a breakout area, library, staff rooms and studio hall, which will accommodate the school's younger pupils (reception to year three).
There will also be some minor refurbishments to the existing school.
The plan also includes access improvements for vehicles and pedestrians, including the creation of a second pedestrian access from Admiral's Way, remodelling the driveway and extending the car park at the front of the school.
To counteract effects on the school's PE space, a new hard play area - designed in consultation with Sport England - is proposed with markings for football, netball, tennis and mini-tennis.
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A design and access statement submitted with the plans said the school's "very generous" site in Queens Road was large enough to accommodate a two-form entry primary school.
A public planning event took place at Hethersett Junior School in November on the expansion plans and gleaned mostly positive feedback, although concerns were raised about traffic congestion and parking. South Norfolk Council has also been consulted.
John Fisher, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council, said: "This is an exciting milestone in the transformation of education in Hethersett.
"We're investing more than £20m to provide more school places in this growing village at what are already good and outstanding schools."
The expansion at Hethersett Junior School is part of a larger plan to significantly increase school places in the growing Norwich suburb.
It was one area marked out for major growth in Norfolk County Council's schools' local growth and investment plan, which was approved by councillors in March.
Plans are progressing in Hethersett, with permission granted for a new building at Woodside Infant School - which is expanding into a primary - and an £8m expansion at Hethersett Academy, the area's increasingly popular secondary school.