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£5m school plans unveiled to public
PLANS for a £5million new primary school in north Colchester have been unveiled.
A public exhibition about Braiswick School, to be built on land between Apprentice Drive and Fernlea, went on show as part of a public consultation yesterday.
The 420-place school would cater for children in the Mile End and Braiswick areas.
It will be sponsored by the Learning Pathways Trust and is due to open in September 2015.
Cash for the project includes £4.2million from the Government’s Targeted Basic Need bid, and £800,000 from Essex County Council.
The council is leading the project after identifying a need for more school places in Colchester.
Don Parker, project sponsor from Essex County Council, explained why the site, behind the New Braiswick Park estate, was chosen.
He said: “There has been a lot of new building on what was the Flakt Woods factory site. We like to have schools at the heart of the community.
“We purchased the land a couple of years ago and it seemed the right place.”
The school will have 14 classrooms, a library, group rooms and a multi-purpose hall.
Two access roads would be created from Apprentice Drive to provide a drop-off and collection point, plus an emergency access route from Fernlea.
Mr Parker said the impact of increased traffic had been accounted for, with the access roads forming a one-way system.
He said: “The school will have a travel plan which will encourage people to walk and cycle, and in due course it will probably look at a walking bus as well.
“We cannot stop people driving to school, we realise that, but we have put measures in place to discourage them.”
Residents in New Braiswick Park expressed concerns. Victoria Willmott, 32, said: “It is good having a car parking and dropping off point, but I just don’t think it is big enough. We haven’t got space for more cars, even if it is just for half an hour.”
Mum AmyHarness, 31, said: “I think the school is needed, but a pedestrian walkway from Fernlea would be essential to limit car movements.”
A second consultation event will take place by the end of March, with plans tweaked in response to the first one.
The planning application will be submitted this spring with construction likely by the autumn. The Learning Pathways Trust sponsors Lyons Hall School, in Braintree, and White Hall Academy, in Clacton.
Executive head Andrew Smith runs both sites, but it has not been confirmed if he will also run the Braiswick school.
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