The ambitious Newton Garden Village project, a 528-dwelling housing development near Bingham, is undergoing a significant shift in its educational infrastructure planning, according to the latest reports from Nottinghamshire County Council.
Background of the Development
Newton Garden Village, constructed on land adjoining the RAF Newton base, was allocated for development by Rushcliffe Borough Council in the 2014 Rushcliffe Core Strategy. The initial outline planning permission, granted in January 2014, included a provision for a primary school and a local retail centre as part of the development.
As of April 2023, Redrow Homes, which acquired the residential land, reported 83 dwellings occupied. This is in addition to 150 existing dwellings from the RAF station era and 165 dwellings from a separate planning application by David Wilson Homes.
Educational Infrastructure Challenges
The original Section 106 Agreement, intended to fund a small primary school of 0.5 form entry, is now under review due to several factors:
Projections show that the demand for primary school places in the area can be met by existing schools, particularly with the new primary school north of Bingham.
The Department for Education (DfE) now advises that primary schools with less than one form of entry are not supported, making the proposed 0.5 form entry school at Newton Garden Village unfeasible.
The County Council is considering redirecting the funds towards expanding Bingham Primary School to accommodate future pupil growth.
Community and Council Responses
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet member for Children and Families, supports the proposed shift in educational planning. However, Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, representing Bingham West Electoral Division, advocates for the original plan of a 0.5 form entry primary school at Newton Garden Village, aligning with Rushcliffe BC’s initial permission.
The recommendations within the report were agreed by the Cabinet member for Economic Development and Asset Management and Interim Corporate Director Place on 30 October 2023