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Multi-million pound Rushcliffe primary school gets final approval

A new 315-place primary school in Rushcliffe has been given final approval despite concerns over traffic and parking.

The multimillion-pound school has been in the making for a number of years due to a growing need for more education places in the village.

It follows the approval and creation of hundreds of homes on the Rempstone Road development, where the new school will be based.

Outline planning permission had previously been granted for the school before Rushcliffe Borough Council’s planning committee considered and approved more detailed plans on 12 May.

And now members of Nottinghamshire County Council’s planning and rights of way committee have given the school final sign-off during a meeting on Tuesday (May 24).

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The school will feature a 26-place nursery, with both facilities expected to be open in September 2023 under the control of Spencer Academies Trust.

They will replace a temporary 120-place school ‘village’ currently under construction nearby, which will be used to tackle the growing demand for school places from September this year.

Children from the temporary school will be transferred to the new, permanent school when it opens in just over 15 months’ time.

East Leake School

Tuesday’s meeting saw artist’s impressions of the new-build site – which is being created by the county council’s contractor Arc Partnership – showing the school will be two storeys in height.

It will include 30 car parking spaces on-site and will be accessed via an entrance point on Evans Road, which connects to the new housing development.

Pedestrians and cyclists will also be able to access the school via a footpath connecting to the nearby Sheepwash Way.

But some councillors raised concerns in Tuesday’s meeting about the provision of parking at the school, as well as the potential traffic impact of parents parking across nearby drives at peak times.

Members feared the proposed 30 parking spaces would not be enough and did not offer support to families dropping off their children.

It was also raised that the staff parking may not be adequate for the 50 staff proposed at the school once it is open.

They were told some staff members may live on the nearby housing estate or use public transport to get to work. However, councillors questioned this and said it could lead to staff parking cars on the housing development.

Councillors also asked for traffic regulation orders to be enforced at peak times on the housing estate to ensure drives are not blocked.

Councillor Philip Owen (Con), who represents Nuthall and Kimberley, said: “There’s much to celebrate but let’s get it right instead of coming up with drivel that parents need to be discouraged from bringing children to school in cars.

“We need to make appropriate provision and recognise that’s what they’re going to do. We have got to support this but we can improve on it.”

Cllr Helen-Ann Smith (Ash Ind), who represents Sutton North, added: “I’ve got some big concerns about the size of the car park, I think 50 staff and a car park for 30 isn’t enough and I’ve got concerns information is based upon assumptions.

“We’re talking about midday supervisors, catering staff, and in [some] other schools, these staff aren’t allowed to park in car parks – putting pressure on nearby streets.

“The fact we’re looking at a new school is absolutely brilliant, but we need to make sure we get it right.”

The committee resolved to ensure the school, the council, the academy trust, parents and nearby residents would have discussions about parking issues to ensure there was a system in place by September next year.

There will also be a consultation on traffic regulation orders outside the school, which will give people the opportunity to have their say on how, where and when parents can park their cars at pick-up and drop-off times.

Councillor Matt Barney (Con), who represents Leake and Ruddington, spoke in the meeting in favour of the school.

He said: “I can’t begin to express just how delighted I am to reach this juncture. [It] will alleviate enormous pressure facing East Leake families following rounds of housing developments.

“The plans we have before us are well-considered and, personally, I think the proposed structure is attractive.”

Councillors approved the school with 10 votes in favour and three abstentions.

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