Nottinghamshire County Council has agreed on the preferred site for an expanded primary school and new secondary school in West Bridgford, as well as plans to expand Rushcliffe School, an academy managed by the Spencer Academy Trust.
The council approved the proposals at a Policy Committee meeting on Wednesday 17 March.
The new and expanded schools will help to meet rising demand for primary and secondary school places in the area up to September 2025, providing new and better learning environments for children and young people.
The preferred site is land off Regatta Way, near Gamston, in Rushcliffe. It would be home to a new secondary school for West Bridgford, which would include a sixth form, as well as a relocated and expanded Lady Bay Primary School, in a campus-style setting. The current Lady Bay School cannot be expanded due to the restricted nature of the existing site.
Now that the new preferred site has been agreed, further design work, surveys and planning work will be carried out. The design will then be developed into a detailed planning application.
Councillor Philip Owen, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, said:
“My priority is to give all children and young people the best possible start in life. We have a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places available to meet demand. I am committed to doing all I can to help parents and carers send their children to their preferred choice of school.
“I’m proud to say we have a good record on this, with a continuously high proportion of families in the county being offered their preferred school. We have many excellent schools, 85.9% of which are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’. But we must continue to look to the future and provide more places for our growing communities, like those in the West Bridgford area.
“The land at Regatta Way has some clear advantages over other potential sites. It would allow both new schools to be built at the same time and more quickly. The council already owns the land. It is less than one mile away from the existing Lady Bay school and catchment area, with good transport links, and it is accessible on foot or by bicycle. It’s a pleasant green environment, and it would be convenient for families with both primary and secondary school age children.
“We have explored other alternatives and I’m satisfied that this is the best available option.
“The expansion of Rushcliffe School will also play an important part in providing enough overall places school places to meet the needs of parents and families. It is an excellent school where pupils can achieve their potential, and I’m confident that it will go from strength to strength.
“I don’t want children to have to learn in outdated buildings, but new, modern environments, fit for the future and these plans will help us achieve that.”
Now that the preferred site has been agreed, a design team will be commissioned to engage with the local community about the proposals for the new schools. The designs are still at a very early stage, with the design details and location of the schools and school facilities at the preferred site still to be decided.
The new secondary and primary schools are expected to open between 2023-2025.