New 170-place school likely to get go-ahead
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
A new school for youngsters with special educational needs is recommended to get the green light.
County councillors will meet on Friday to decide whether to grant planning permission for the 170-place school at Easton.
If approved, the free school would support children with learning and cognition needs aged from four to 19 and would be funded by the Department for Education.
It would be run by The Bridge London Trust, and is part of Norfolk County Council's £120m programme to create 500 extra specialist school places across the county.
The council was awarded £17m to build the school in 2019.
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The school would be built on land to the east of Easton Gymnastics Club in Bawburgh Road.
Along with the L-shaped school building, the plans also include a multi-use games area, parking, fences, a new link road and part-widening of the northbound Bawburgh Road, including a pedestrian footpath.
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The proposals go against South Norfolk Council's local development plan, with the site having been allocated for about 900 homes.
But there have been no objections to the proposals and officers say those homes can still be built on the overall 130 acre site, without needing the six acres which the school would be built on.
Penny Barratt, chief executive of the Bridge London Trust said, in support of the application: "We really hope to have the
opportunity to open this school in Easton and to work with others in the community to provide a fantastic service for pupils with special educational needs."
The plans also have the support of Easton Parish Council. Chairman Peter Milliken wrote: "We are very pleased that our village has been chosen to host this highly valued educational facility for children with special educational needs.
"It will bring further employment to the local area and in turn help to boost the local economy of the area.
"We also hope our local area will help enrich the lives of the staff and children who attend this new SEN school."
Council officers are recommending that members of the county's council's planning regulatory committee approve the plans when they meet on Friday, June 18.
If permission is granted, the school is earmarked to open in January 2023.