Foundation work has begun on a relocated primary school in Monkton Heathfield to meet the demands for new primary school places in Somerset.
Developers Persimmon and Redrow on behalf of Somerset County Council are delivering the 14 classroom school on the Monkton Heathfield housing estate.
It will replace the current West Monkton primary on School Road which does not have capacity to cope with expected demand for school places created by the building of around 1,000 new homes in the area.
The relocated school will soon have space for 420 pupils, and will also include playing fields and basketball courts, a nursery with space for 52 children and community facilities.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “This is a really positive move to provide the extra school places needed at West Monkton Primary School to cope with local demand. The new site and buildings means new and improved facilities which will benefit the whole community, not just pupils of the school.”
Simon Perks, managing director of Persimmon Homes South West, said: “We are delighted to help provide vital facilities for the community of Monkton Heathfield. Persimmon Homes is proud to work alongside all of the communities where our developments are based and I’m sure the children, staff and parents of this brand new school will be thrilled once it is completed.”
The school will be relocated to a green field site and will be easily accessible via Bridgwater Road.
The relocated school build is being provided by developers to Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council as part of the section 106 agreement for the development.
A turf cutting ceremony took place on 20 January 2016, which was attended by Councillors Frances Nicholson and David Fothergill, Reverend Mike Haslam, the Rural Deane for Taunton, Officers from Somerset County Council who have project managed the build and the Headteacher, governors, classroom staff and pupils from the current West Monkton primary school who came to view their relocated school site.
Guests to the turf cutting ceremony were given a description of the school build and the benefits for the community by Headteacher Ian Robinson, followed by a speech from Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families. The site was then blessed by Mike Haslam before Cllr Frances Nicholson and the pupils ceremonially dug the spade into the ground.