Ipswich: Green light for rebuilding of New Academy on site of former Chantry High School

An artist's impression of the Suffolk New Academy.

An artist's impression of the Suffolk New Academy. - Credit: Archant

Members of the borough’s planning and development committee have given their unanimous backing to proposals to rebuild Suffolk New Academy.

The former Chantry High School will be demolished over the next 18 months and replaced with a new building that will have room for up to 900 students. That should be completed by September next year.

The committee gave its enthusiastic backing to the proposal. Local Labour councillor Peter Gardiner said he remembered the existing building going up in the early 1950s.

He added: “This new building will be a great improvement on that. Students will have a much better place to learn in. My only advice to the academy is don’t use black and white images – it looks so much better in colour!”

Academy principal Andrew Fell addressed the committee, putting the case for the rebuilding.

He said: “The impact of the new buildings for Suffolk New Academy will be very significant, both in terms of education standards for our young people and raising aspirations for our community.”

He burst into applause as the committee gave it their unanimous backing.

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After the meeting he said: “This is fantastic. Now we can go ahead with the work and get it all built. It will be quite a challenge to build the new school while we continue to operate from the site – but by September next year there will be a wonderful new facility for the community.”

Planners praised the design of the building by architects Fielden Clegg and Bradley which includes large open spaces as well as classrooms on three storeys.

However veteran Labour councillor Albert Grant was not impressed by the design of the building, although he supported it in the vote. He said: “I think it looks a bit like a barracks!”