‘Essential’ new 315-place primary school in Worksop recommended for go-ahead

The welcome to Worksop sign
The welcome to Worksop sign
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans for a new 315-place primary school in Worksop could be given the go-ahead by Nottinghamshire County Council next week.

The Conservative-led authority has put forward the plans alongside its contractor Arc Partnership for the Gateford Park housing development.

The plans were unveiled this spring following long-standing calls for the new school to be built on the 750-home Gatekeeper Way estate.

The council’s planning and rights of way committee will discuss the plans on June 6 and the school is recommended for the go-ahead.

If approved, the authority hopes to open the school to its first cohort of new pupils in September next year.

The single-storey school would be built on part of the major housing development and would initially have the capacity for 210 children and a 26-place nursery.

A 150 per cent expansion in the second phase would then take the school’s capacity to 315 places at a later date.

The plans, lodged in early March, came following pressure from an opposition councillor and a 280-signature petition urging the authority to begin building the school immediately.

The petition was submitted by Councillor Sybil Fielding (Lab), who represents Worksop West, at the authority’s November full council meeting.

When submitting the petition, Cllr Fielding said: “This petition requests the county council gets on with building the new school.

“The Section 106 [developer contribution] agreement was signed in May 2015 and we’re still waiting.”

Responding to the petition, Cllr Keith Girling (Con), cabinet member for asset management, said the new school is an “essential piece of infrastructure”.

He added: “[This will] support the delivery of this sustainable development.

“The county council has consistently stated that a school will be built.

“A large number of houses granted by this permission are now occupied and officers.

“A planning application has now been submitted to the county council.

“[This] will allow it to progress to the county council’s planning and rights of way committee in June or July 2023, providing sufficient time to construct the new school for an opening date of September 2024.”

Updated projections by the authority reveal there is expected to be a 138-place gap in pupil places across Gateford and Shireoaks by the 2026/27 academic year.

The council says these new projections “support the need for the new school at Gateford from September 2024” in order to meet demand.

Basic drawings on the council’s planning portal reveal the school would feature eight classrooms, a school hall, a kitchen, several toilets, numerous staff rooms and admin spaces, a playing field and sports pitches.

33 staff would be employed at the school in the first phase, with 33 car parking spaces and two disabled bays on-site.

The planning and rights of way committee is recommended to approve the proposal at the meeting next week.

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