Dismay at delays to new Lakenheath and Red Lodge schools

Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer

Eastbourne Hastings Bexhill Rye Battle Herald Observer

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There are concerns in Red Lodge and Lakenheath about a year’s delay to new schools aimed at coping with the pressure on places from new housing developments.

Suffolk County Council last week signed off the building of the new schools in the two villages, but are now set for a September 2018 opening instead of September 2017.

Red Lodge Parish Council said in a statement that they were concerned about the setback.

“We as a parish council have had very little input, other than being told of the sites available and the site preferred,” it said

To compensate for the delay, Suffolk County Council said it was in negotiations with St Christopher’s Primary School about expanding places there in 2017 to cope with additional demand. However the county council acknowledges the school is technically at capacity.

The new Red Lodge school would have 210 places, which could double to 420 places.

The two delays are due to the council not acquiring the land by January 2016, the target cut-off date for delivering a school by September 2017.

In Lakenheath, which could see development of 2,000 new homes, the planned new school’s capacity is to be confirmed.

Hermione Brown of the parish council’s planning sub-committee said that the school is already at capacity and the council would be “extremely unhappy” at the prospect of the school having to use temporary accommodation in the 2017/18 academic year.

She said no further housing developments should be approved without a proper infrastructure plan in place.

There are proposals for 913 new homes in the village with others already agreed.