New primary school for St Neots to open next year

A visual impression of what the school at Wintringham will look like.

A visual impression of what the school at Wintringham will look like. - Credit: Archant

Planning permission has been granted for a new primary school for St Neots which is set to open in September 2020.

The £14.2 million school forms part of the Wintringham development, which alongside Love's Farm, is part of the eastern expansion of St Neots. The school will be managed by Diamond Learning Partnership Trust which also runs the nearby Round House Primary Academy, on Love's Farm, and will provide places for just over 700 pupils aged 3-11.

The school will sit at the heart of the first phase of Urban&Civic's 162 hectare development which will be a sustainable new development with 2,800 homes and a range of community and sports facilities, health and green space. The primary school's location was designed to ensure it played a central role for new families within the first phase of the development. A second primary school is planned for later in the development.

Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects dRMM, the elegant timber school will provide a learning environment surrounded by nature, both inside and outside. At the centre of the building is a woodland grove.

A slender, curved roof offers shade and protection to the outdoor learning spaces beneath. Wrapping the elliptical form is a façade which will draw inspiration from the seasonal colours.

Councillor Simon Bywater, chairman of the children's and young people's committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "This plan marks a significant milestone in the building of a much-needed new primary school for St Neots and is the culmination of many years of working together in partnership to get where we are today."

Tracy Bryden, executive headteacher for the Wintringham and the Round House Primary academies said: "This is fantastic news for Love's Farm and the community of St Neots. I have been excited to be involved in the development process of the new school and look forward to this continuing during the building phase. The new school promises to be an inspirational learning area and a focal point for the community."

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Susannah Connell, chief executive officer of the Diamond Learning Partnership Trust added: "We are delighted the planning permission has been granted for the permanent school building. This is fantastic news for the children of Wintringham Primary Academy. We have been fortunate enough to work with the whole design team who have deliberated long and hard over the proposals for the new school. Together we will provide a first class learning experience to enrich the children's lives and educational opportunities."