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Crunch time for £11.8m Chapel Road School rebuild in Old Buckenham

Local residents and parents of children who live and go to schools in Old Buckenham, take a chance to see proposed plans for a new school. Chapel Road School in Attleborough need new premises and would like to build next door to the existing primary school.
Headteacher Karin Heap.

Local residents and parents of children who live and go to schools in Old Buckenham, take a chance to see proposed plans for a new school. Chapel Road School in Attleborough need new premises and would like to build next door to the existing primary school. Headteacher Karin Heap.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

Councillors will gather to make final decision on the rebuild of a £11.8m complex needs school in south Norfolk.

Planning bosses at Norfolk County Council will meet today to decide whether to give the go-ahead to plans to move Chapel Road School, currently in Attleborough, to a purpose built facility in Old Buckenham.

The school, which caters for children with complex needs, hopes to expand its facilities and increase its current 60 pupil limit to 110.

But the bid for the 3.6-hectare site has proved contentious, with enthusiasm about the school tempered by concerns over increased traffic.

Although Old Buckenham Parish Council backed the move in August, at a meeting last week a re-vote was called, with councillors objecting to the plans.

They had previously reeled off 11 amendments that needed to be met to gain their full support.

Developers agreed to several of the alterations, including reducing the speed limit near the new entrace from 60mph to 30mph and implementing a temporary 20mph limit during school hours, but refused to install crossing refuges on the busy B1077.

Parish councillor Steve Milner said councillors had been left frustrated by the decision.

He said: “We all want the children from Chapel Road School to have new facilities and the new building, but we need to protect the existing children first.

“It is horrible watching them cross the road at the minute.”

Built adjacent to the primary and secondary schools in Old Buckenham, the new building would cater for 110 students and include classrooms, a multi-purpose hall, hydrotherapy pool, library, ICT suite, football pitches and a multi-use games area.

Norfolk County Council has already committed £4m to the project, with the Department for Education contributing £3.8m and a further £2.2m coming from the council in capital funding.

• What do you think of the plans? Contact reporter Laurenn Cope on lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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