THESE are the first pictures of a new special school to be built in Colchester.

Parents and residents are being encouraged to have their say on plans for the relocation and expansion of Lexden Springs School.

County Hall education bosses want to move Lexden Springs from its current home, in Halstead Road, Lexden, to a new state-of-the-art campus on the former Heath School site, in Winstree Road, Stanway.

The proposals would increase the school’s capacity from 120 pupils to 200.

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Some 30 boarding places would also be created.

To make room, the existing buildings on the former Heath School site would be demolished.

There will also be two separate entrances, with one specifically designed for use by minibuses and taxis to drop off and collect pupils.

Building work could start in March and be completed by September 2019.

Gazette: lexden springs

The new plans will be available at a public exhibition on Wednesday.

It will be held at Stanway Library, in Villa Road, between 2.30p, and 7pm.

The school design team will also be on hand to discuss the plans.

Comment forms will be available and Essex County Council says all feedback will be taken into account before a planning application is submitted.

Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s councillor respsonible for education, said: “We are committed to ensuring all pupils in Essex receive the best possible education and the county’s schools are equipped to meet pupils’ individual needs.

“Plans to move Lexden Springs School to a bigger and better site have been in the pipeline for a long time and I am pleased the project is starting to move forward.

“Projects such as this one are crucial in ensuring we have sufficient special school places available in Essex and I would encourage parents and residents to have their say before our plans are submitted.”

The plans are part of the authority’s plans to spend up to £115 million on creating more than 400 new special school places across Essex.

The record investment, which includes £42 million from the Essex Schools Forum, comes after an increase in the number of youngster in the county being diagnosed with autism and amid a growing demand for special school places.

Anyone who can’t attend the exhibition can still have their say at between Wednesday and November 8.