Plan to demolish and rebuild school to ease pressure on places is backed by council

Shire Hall, Cambridge.

Shire Hall, Cambridge. - Credit: Archant

Plans to demolish and rebuild a primary school in order to cope with rising pressures on pupil places has been approved councillors this week.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s planning committee met last Thursday (November 2) and backed plans to rebuild and expand Wyton Primary School.

The council hopes to increase the size of the facility by purchasing land from the Ministry of Defence, and adding a pre-school on the site.

Play areas, a sports pitch, and a hard-surfaced netball court are also planned for the site.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The Cambridgeshire County Council education team together with the head teacher and governors of the school have worked together to develop the proposals to replace the existing school which has a current capacity for 210 children.

“The new school building will accommodate up to 315 children to meet the increasing demand for pupil places in the local area. In addition, a new room will be provided to cater for early years and childcare spaces.

“The existing school is in a poor condition and is difficult and costly to maintain and beyond its economic life.

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“The construction of the new school within the existing school site will be followed by the demolition of the current school building.

“Work on the new school is due to start later this month and should be complete by early 2019 with the demolition of the existing school and associated landscaping works to follow spring 2019.”

According to architects working on the project, Saunders Boston, much of the fabric of the school dates back to the 1960s, with some more modern additions made in 2003.

In a planning statement, Saunders Boston noted: “The school has many problems relating to maintenance, condition and the suitability of the accommodation requiring it to be rebuilt.

“A demographic review highlighted that rising pressure would be brought to bear in the area and that a one-form entry school would not be able to cope with pupil demand, and that in order to cope with demographic pressures, the school has a need to increase by 0.5-form entry, and to introduce a 1.5-form entry early years facility, the decision was taken that a new 1.5-form entry primary school and pre-school will be designed and constructed at the site of the existing school.”

The architects said that the school would remain open and classes would continue as normal while construction works took place.