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Consultation launched on plan to build new school in Fakenham for young people with autism




County education chiefs are set to seek government permission to build a new specialist school for young people with autism in Fakenham.

A public consultation has been launched on the idea of building a new facility on the town's old sixth form site playing field, as part of a £120 million plan to improve special needs provision in the county.

And a drop-in session will take place at the town's community centre next month for residents to find out more about the scheme.

Norfolk County Council's headquarters, where calls for DIY waste recycling charges to be scrapped are set to be debated next week (3090376)
Norfolk County Council's headquarters, where calls for DIY waste recycling charges to be scrapped are set to be debated next week (3090376)

Norfolk County Council leaders first outlined their plans to develop a specialist facility on the Wells Road site in the summer.

If given the go-ahead, the school would cater for up to 100 pupils from across North Norfolk.

But, although detailed proposals are still be developed, they now say that building on the playing field, which they say hasn't been used in 20 years, is a better option.

John Fisher, the authority's cabinet member for children's services, said: “Too many children and young people in North Norfolk with autism are having to travel long distances to get the education they need and we want to change that.

“We have a potential site at the former Fakenham VI form which would enable us to deliver this much-needed capacity.

"We believe that using the redundant playing field to build a modern, specialist school would be the best option which is why we intend to ask the Secretary of State to allow us to do so."

A public consultation on the proposal, which officials say would cover an area of around 5.5 acres, is already underway and will continue until January 24.

A drop-in session will also take place at the Fakenham Community Centre in Oak Street on Monday, January 6, between 10am and 12.30pm and from 2 until 6pm.

Fakenham divisional councillor Tom FitzPatrick said: "This consultation is an important step towards creating a much needed new school in our town, something I have long supported to meet the needs of this area and I am pleased the process is now underway.”

People can have their say on the proposals now here.

Printed copies of the consultation document can also be requested by emailing schoolreview@norfolk.gov.uk.


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