New school for Woodbridge decision today

OFFICIALS were today set to make a decision over plans for a £1.5 million primary school for 210 children which could be built within 18 months at no cost to the county council.

OFFICIALS were today set to make a decision over plans for a £1.5 million primary school for 210 children which could be built within 18 months at no cost to the county council.

For the council's executive committee has been recommended to enter a conditional contract with developers to build a school and nursery in Pytches Road, Woodbridge, and to convert the existing school in New Street into a public library with housing around the playground.

The planned development has generated so much interest in Woodbridge that 1,000 people attended a three-day exhibition and 364 people returned a questionnaire.

Of these, 242 were in favour of the overall project, 228 agreed with the principle of relocating the school and 248 agreed with opening a new library.

The majority of concerns raised were about the impact of a new school on the surrounding road network and the county council said it was considering the provision of traffic calming measures and a pavement in Pytches Road.

There was also criticism the proposed housing around the current school site would not be cheap enough for many people.

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A report before today's executive committee says: "This is an issue for the local planning authority/local plan. There is no intention to provide subsidised housing, but the scheme currently proposed would provide a range of sizes and types of homes.

"The whole project is principally being financed by the redevelopment of the New Street site for private housing. It is believed that a substantial departure from the principle of private housing on the site would prevent the developer from funding the scheme for the county council. Uses such as low-cost housing or public service provision will reduce the site value."

The project cannot progress further without a contractual commitment from the county council to developers G and E (Woodbridge) Ltd.

If councillors decide the proposed scheme is unacceptable or final contract details cannot be agreed, then the existing school and library premises will continue to be used.