New North Lynn school plans go on display

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Proposals for a new primary school in North Lynn have been unveiled and a decision on another in a nearby village could be made within weeks.

Plans for the new St Edmund’s Academy building went on display during an exhibition at Lynnsport on Wednesday morning.

And county education officials say they also expect the application to build a new school in Gayton to go before councillors next month.

The North Lynn scheme, which is intended to provide up to 420 school places plus a nursery on a site off Greenpark Avenue, will replace the existing St Edmund’s school building on Kilhams Way.

A second exhibition session was due to take place at the current school site yesterday afternoon, as the Lynn News went to press.

The proposed location for the new school was identified as part of the ongoing housing developments on several sites in the Lynnsport and Marsh Lane areas.

And Chris Hey, head of place planning and organisation for Norfolk County Council’s children’s services department, said the project would ensure the school was right at the heart of its community, acknowledging the need for parents and children to cross the busy Edward Benefer Way to get to and from its present home does present problems.

He said: “The school does its bit to engage with the community and does very well, but if you’re away from your community you are at a disadvantage. This building will bring it back to where it should be.”

Officials are aiming to submit a planning application before Christmas and begin building work next summer.

They hope the new building will be ready to open in the autumn of 2019.

And Mr Hey said the proposal had also been well received by visitors to the exhibition.

He said: “People recognise there are new houses at Lynnsport. To put a new school with the new houses makes sense.”

Councillors could be asked to decide on plans for a new school in Gayton next month, officials say.

The proposed scheme for a site at the corner of Back Street and Winch Road has been dogged by problems since it was first outlined by county education officials two years ago.

But, speaking at Wednesday’s exhibition of the St Edmund’s plan, Norfolk County Council’s Mr Hey, indicated a resolution was close.

He said: “We have a planning application with the county council and we’re expecting it to go to the planning committee on December 1.”

Some residents have claimed that the site is unsuitable because of extra traffic and parking, plus flood risk concerns.

Both the Environment Agency and the county council’s own flood risk assessors have also voiced objections.

But Mr Hey defended their handling of the scheme.

He said: “Every site is different and we recognise planning authorities pay great attention to flood risk issues, as we do. We seek to address them early on in the process.

“The built environment within King’s Lynn is quite well known in this area, whereas in Gayton it was new and needed to be investigated.”