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Thurston set for 420-place school, with Suffolk County Council poised to approve plans

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Plans for a 420-place primary school in Thurston are set to get the go-ahead next week, as part of measures to meet the needs of the growing number of homes.

Suffolk County Council is behind the proposals for the school on land north of Norton Road, which will also include a pre-school with 30 places and will replace the existing 210-place school in the village.

The council’s development and regulation committee is expected to approve the plans on Wednesday.

Designs for the school, as they appeared in the planning documents (30852434)
Designs for the school, as they appeared in the planning documents (30852434)

The school is desperately needed to meet the needs of the rapidly-expanding community, with planning permission for 800 homes already approved.

In its application, the council said: “The proposed development will create a school facility which is suitable for the 21st century.

“It proposes to deliver accommodation and an environment which allows for high quality education.

“The building is designed to be adaptable and flexible to suit any changes in teaching needs.”

A spokesman added: “The application is to relocate and expand the existing Thurston Primary Academy from 210 to 420 places, and provide a new 30 place pre-school.

“The existing school is forecast to be oversubscribed in the next few years and additional school places are required to accommodate pupils arising from new housing within the catchment."

According to the officers’ report the existing 210-place primary school has no space for any reasonable expansion.

The access road to the new facility will be via a new road being provided by Linden Homes as part of its portion of housing development.

It will include a 73-space car park, 200 cycle spaces and 10 drop-off or visitor spaces at the front of the school.

The school last year said it hoped to be in the new building by September 2021 if there were no hold ups on the decision.

Mid Suffolk District Council had granted outline planning permission for a school on the site back in 2018, with next week’s decision to secure full permission.

In its representation, Thurston Parish Council said it did not object to the school being built, but did raise a handful of concerns, including the need for pedestrian crossing points, a 20mph speed limit outside the building and potential impact on the roads.