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New school for Suffolk town

PUBLISHED: 20:00 31 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

HADLEIGH is to get a new primary school which should be ready to take children in September 2003.

The school is expected to cost £1.18 million, and they money is to be included in the 2002-2003 Suffolk County Council education authority budget.

HADLEIGH is to get a new primary school which should be ready to take children in September 2003.

The school is expected to cost £1.18 million, and they money is to be included in the 2002-2003 Suffolk County Council education authority budget.

Councillors were told there was no room to expand the 500-place primary school in the town's Station Road, and there was no chance of extending St Mary's, the Church of England primary school in the town following a petition signed by 93 parents objecting to the idea.

However, despite the pleas of the local county councillor, David Grutchfield, the new school will initially have room for 140 pupils, not the 210 he argued would be needed.

Mr Grutchfield told members of the county's executive committee that he had found anomalies in the figures in Babergh District Council's draft local plan, which is currently going through consultations before it is updated.

He said extra housing likely to be built in the town was not included in the current local plan.

He also warned that if the school was to be ready for September 2003 as planned, while Wattisham service families were due to move to new housing being built for them in Hadleigh by September 2002, children would have to be bussed to their current school in Woodbridge.

He said: "Bussing children is not good policy. It's not a 25-minute journey from Hadleigh to Woodbridge."

However education officer Stuart Barber said the situation had been discussed carefully with officers in Babergh's planning department and the current recommendation for a 140-place school was based on the best information they had.

He said: "I'd be the first to acknowledge that in the longer term there may need to be a second expansion of the school. We have to be careful not to build too many places in the first instance and reduce places at the other two schools in the town. The new school would be designed so it could be extendable to 210 places.

The MoD is keen to work with the authority and they have said they would try and limit the number of families with primary-age children that they move to Hadleigh during the first 12 months."

The legal processes that were needed before any new school could be built meant it was unlikely to be completed any earlier than September 2003.

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