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Part of new Gayton school site in sell-off plan, but council insists project won't be hampered

Multi-million pound plans to build a new primary school in a West Norfolk village won’t be affected by part of its site being sold off, officers have insisted.

The plot at West Hall Farm, Gayton is one of four in the borough which are likely to be deemed surplus to requirements at a Norfolk County Council cabinet meeting next week.

It, along with lands in South Wootton, Walpole Highway and Watlington, are currently part of the County Farms portfolio.

Gayton - Village Sign. (39367592)
Gayton - Village Sign. (39367592)

But, after the long-awaited £6 million school scheme was finally given the go-ahead there earlier this year, County Hall officials maintain it won’t now be affected by the sell-off plans.

A county council spokesman said this week: “All the land needed for the new school has been allocated to the school proposal, but it didn’t cover 100 per cent of the land previously run by County Farms.

“This is the part of the former farm property that wouldn’t be needed to deliver the school, so is being disposed of separately on the open market.”

A separate report to next Monday’s cabinet meeting, outlining plans for the expansion of school provision in the county over the next few years, reiterated the authority’s aim for the new school to be open in the autumn of next year.

Planning permission for the school, which will have capacity for 210 pupils, plus a nursery with more than 50 places, was granted in February, more than four years after plans for a new building to replace the current school in Lynn Road were outlined.

The initial plan to develop land at the junction of Back Street and Winch Road had to be scrapped because of concerns over flood risk.

But, when detailed plans for the West Hall Farm site were submitted last year, the council said other land in its ownership could be utilised if further expansion of the school was needed in the future.

The land sale proposals also include part of the old Fakenham Academy site where a new specialist school for children with special educational needs is proposed.

However, as in the Gayton case, the council says the project will not be affected by any land sale.

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