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Plans for future of former Suffolk middle school site to be unveiled

Plans for the former Needham Market Middle School are being unveiled to residents Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Plans for the former Needham Market Middle School are being unveiled to residents Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Plans for a major redevelopment - including 44 new homes, a library and a café - on the site of a redundant Suffolk middle school are to be unveiled to residents next week.

Former headteacher Ian Kearns looks at old pictures and memories on teh last day of Needham Market Middle School in 2015 Picture: PHIL MORLEYFormer headteacher Ian Kearns looks at old pictures and memories on teh last day of Needham Market Middle School in 2015 Picture: PHIL MORLEY

A public consultation on proposals for the future of the former Needham Market Middle School site is being held on Tuesday, July 10, from 3pm-7pm at the Community Café in School Street.

Mid Suffolk District Council, alongside Ingleton Wood and Iceni Homes, are inviting members of the public to view the plans and comment on proposals.

The school closed in July 2015 after a major overhaul of the county’s education system, which moved from three-tiers (primary, middle, high school) to two-tiers (primary, high school).

Bacton Middle School, Combs Middle School in Stowmarket and Stowmarket Middle School also closed their doors to pupils in July 2015 after Suffolk County Council voted unanimously to close the four schools in 2013.

The last day at Needham Market Middle School before its closure in 2015 Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe last day at Needham Market Middle School before its closure in 2015 Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Jill Wilshaw, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for housing, said: “When we talk about the former middle school site, many people don’t realise it includes both the public library and the Needham Market Internet Café.

“We know just how much these facilities mean to our residents, and that’s why these proposals include both a new library and a café that can build on the work of the existing Community Café.

“It will also provide a new, modern base for this outstanding community group. This, alongside the much needed affordable housing in the town centre, could help Needham Market to thrive for years to come, providing homes, services and community facilities all in one place.”

Anyone unable to attend the event can contact Nicol Perryman at Ingleton Wood at nicol.perryman@ingletonwood.co.uk to submit their comments regarding the proposals.

The consultation comes as the council marks Rural Housing Week, which is an annual celebration aiming to highlight rural housing issues and sowcase innovative solutions for tackling them.

The week, which runs from July 2, shines a spotlight on successful developments which offer a lifeline to local people in market towns and villages, as well as explaining how housing is vital for the survival rural communities and services.

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