New £3.6m school for site where 900 homes are being built

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The primary school will have enough space for up to 315 pupils but some parents want more places in the town’s secondary schools

Aerial shot of the Rolls Royce site development

A new £3.6m school is to be built on a site in Hucknall where 900 new homes are being developed – but some residents say more secondary school places are what is really needed.

The new primary school will have places for up to 315 pupils and is expected to open in September 2019

It’s being built to help meet the demand for school places created by the Harrier Park housing development being built off Watnall Road.

The £3.6m school will be paid for using funds provided by developer contributions through a section 106 agreement between Ashfield District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Rolls Royce, which was signed in 2014.

Section 106 agreements are drafted when it is considered that a development will have a significant impact on the local area.

Nottinghamshire County Council said it has started work on designing the school and it plans to find a sponsor to run it, which could be an academy trust or a diocese.

The school is part of a wider £250m scheme by Muse Developments on the 150-acre former Rolls-Royce site. One million sq ft employment space will also be developed on the site, along with 900 homes, a care home, green space and other community facilities.

Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s children and young people’s committee, Councillor Philip Owen, said: “The new free school is now essential to meet projected demand from the new housing development on the Watnall Road site in the town and will mean that convenient school places will be available to families as they move in which will in turn make the housing development more attractive.”

He added that this area of Hucknall has seen a lot of new houses over the past five years which has resulted in 420 more school places already being created at five existing schools.

The county council said it expects the 900 home development to lead to demand for 189 new primary school places and 144 secondary school places from the families who live there.

Some residents said they feel there is already enough provision for primary schools in the area and that secondary school places are what is needed.

Claire Staniforth, 33, whose son Ben will be starting year seven next year, said: “It’s not primary schools we need, it’s secondaries. We only have two at the moment.

“Parents already have to fight to get their kids in National [Academy]. What are they going to do when there’s 900 new homes, and where are the kids going to go from the primary when they grow up?

“If there are more children they will have to build more secondaries or make the ones we have bigger else parents might have to think about going outside of Hucknall.”

Kay Ford, a 50-year-old dinner lady and mother-of-two, thought building new schools was a good idea but agreed that secondary provision should also be improved.

She said: “I think more school places is a good idea because I know what it is like trying to get your kids in to a school when there are no places, it can be a nightmare.

“However I do not think we need more primaries round here, there are enough of those. We need more secondaries.”

The county council’s policy committee will meet on Wednesday, November 15, to discuss plans to look for a sponsor for the school.

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