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Site for new primary school found
PARENTS and teachers at Bilingual Primary School are celebrating after finally finding a permanent home.
Councillors approved plans to develop a new building opposite Hove Park, between the Droveway, City Park and The Engineerium, yesterday.
The approval of the plans will be good news for parents as the city continues to deal with the growing primary school places crisis that could see the number of pupils starting primary school increase to 2,850 in 2016/17.
It is expected the new school will be able to take 210 pupils this year, with the intake increasing every year to 630 pupils by 2023.
Concerns had been raised about the original proposals for the site, particularly about over-development and potential parking and traffic problems caused at peak times, with more than 100 objections received by the council about the plans.
However, more than 200 people wrote to the council in favour of the amended plans stating the city needs more primary school places, the building would be a good use of the site and that the current school was well run and popular with parents.
Carolina Gopal, head of the school, said the decision was “great news”.
She said: “We can now state where we are. We’ve been waiting for this ever since we opened. I’m so pleased.
“I’m pleased for the city. A lot of parents have been waiting for us to announce our site for a long time.”
Carolina Barker, who spoke in favour of the development, said: “Our school is about to enter its third year. Pupils are thriving. The community spirit is second to none. Standards are above local and national averages. We need our new home now.
“We have been working closely with the council to help meet its duty to provide enough school places.”
Ward councillor Jayne Bennett said: “Our greatest concerns are about the increased traffic and parking. This site is situated at the end of a narrow cul-de-sac that already provides access to the City park development and The Engineerium.
“There are insufficient parking spaces for the staff, let alone parents, and nowhere for cars to access the site.”
The new building was unanimously approved by the council.
Phelim Mac Cafferty, head of the planning committee, said despite his continued concerns about the plans it was time the council started providing more primary school places.
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