Felixstowe: Land ownership mix-up halts work on �20m school

NEGOTIATIONS are taking place today between county council and government officials to resolve a land ownership problem which has stopped work on a new �20million academy.

Construction has started on the new access road off Walton High Street at Felixstowe, and residents expected work on the main buildings to be well under way by now with the school set to move in in less than 15 months’ time.

But all work has stopped – with the county council saying there are “complications with land ownership”, which they are trying to solve.

It is understood that the land on which the new government-funded school is to be built is currently not in the council’s ownership.

It will be built on Felixstowe Academy’s Maidstone Campus, previously Orwell High School and which was handed over to the Felixstowe Learning Trust, which ran Orwell and Deben High until the schools closed last year. It is understood ownership of the land remained with the trust, but when the trust’s bid to run the new academy failed, the property was handed over to the crown.

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and young people said: “There are currently some legal complications with land ownership that we are working directly with central government to address – it is estimated that any issues will be resolved by the end of the summer.

“We remain completely focused on delivering new education facilities for young people in the Felixstowe area.

Most Read

“In the meantime we have worked hard to obtain funding from central government for safety works to be carried out, building a bridge over the nearby rail crossing.

“Without this funding, we would not have been able to proceed with works at all.

“We are therefore now able to proceed quickly and efficiently when current legal issues are ironed out.”

n Give us your views – write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email starletters@archant.co.uk