New exhibition to take place of £4.5 million Gayton school plans

Residents of Gayton who are upset at the proposed relocation of Gayton School ANL-160124-142843009
Residents of Gayton who are upset at the proposed relocation of Gayton School ANL-160124-142843009

A second exhibition of multi-million pound plans for a new school in Gayton will take place later this week.

Details of the plan to relocate the school to land at the corner of Back Street and Winch Road will be displayed in the village on Thursday afternoon.

But proposals to move a village pre-school to the site as part of the project have been delayed, although officials maintain they still intend to open the new complex next year.

And opponents say their concerns have still not been addressed, more than two months after the project was first outlined..

Norfolk County Council announced its intention to build a new £4.5 million school in the village in November.

Officials say the new building is needed to properly accommodate the school, which converted from infant to primary status five years ago and withstand expected future growth in pupil numbers.

They maintain the current school site in Lynn Road is not big enough and hope to submit a planning application as early as next month.

A county council spokesman said: “We are negotiating purchase from its owners, the Gayton Estate. Work has progressed for the layout and designs for a new school in this location.”

But moves to relocate the Gayton Goslings pre-school group, which also operates from the existing school site, have been put on hold. The authority says that part of the project will be undertaken separately.

The spokesman said: “Some of the technical specifications, such as accommodation, for the pre-school and main school are quite different, so they are going to be run as separate planning projects.

“However, the aim is that both will open together, in 2017.”

Despite that, resident Geoff Gibling, whose home is opposite the planned site of the new school, says concerns about issues including road safety and flood risks still need to be resolved.

He said: “They haven’t said anything about the problems we have.”

The council says a majority of the pupils using the new school will live in the Back Street area, though objectors dispute that.

Thursday’s exhibition is at the current school site in Lynn Road from 3 until 6pm.