Latest on Yeovil primary schools

Somerset County Council is continuing to plan for two new primary schools in Yeovil to meet the town’s growing demand for spaces.

The necessary primary places will be available from September 2016, with funding in place for the schools in Lufton and Wyndham Park, along with two enthusiastic sponsors – Preston Primary Academy Trust and Huish Primary Academy Trust.

The original intention had been to open them in their own permanent buildings in September 2016 but planning and access issues have delayed the projects. Interim arrangements at Huish Primary have been made to provide spaces until the buildings are complete.

The County Council is planning to build a seven classroom school on land within Wyndham Park so that school places are available there for the start of the 2017 academic year. There will be scope to build another seven classrooms on adjacent land if the Primrose Lane housing development is progressed.

Initially the Council had submitted plans for a seven classroom school and the ability to extend to 14 classrooms on a site in the Primrose Lane development. However, uncertainties around planning consents meant it would not be able to deliver the school in time for the 2017 academic year and there was no certainty of a delivery date.

“We are committed to having the school places Yeovil needs, when they are needed,” said Cllr Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.

“We have arrangements to make sure there are places available in September 2016 and are progressing the school building projects as quickly as we can. We are well aware that if the housing development on Primrose Lane progresses, more places will be needed at Wyndham Park and that is why we would be submitting plans for another seven classrooms if the development gets the go ahead.”

The planning application for the Lufton School was submitted before Christmas. The current expected latest completion date is February 2018, however, the County Council remains hopeful that there may be scope to bring this date forward.

Cllr Nicholson added: “We are doing our very best to move these school builds along as soon as possible and the difficulty is getting access to the right sites in the right places at the right time.”

In the interim both sponsors have agreed to host the new schools on the Huish Primary School site. This will deliver up to 60 places for reception 2016. The classrooms will be of permanent modular construction and transitional transport will be provided for the duration of the hosting arrangements.