Concerns over site earmarked for new school in Raglan
1:01pm Sunday 15th September 2013 in News
THREE Monmouthshire councillors have called-in a decision to set aside farmland for a new £4.5million school in Raglan.
The call-in, led by Cllr Simon Howarth, was lodged following the decision by cabinet member Cllr Phil Murphy to set aside just over three acres of county farmland at The Brooks Holding Site, Station Road, for educational purposes to build a 210-place primary school.
Cllr Murphy made the single-member decision last month but Cllr Howarth, Cllr Roger Harris and Cllr Kevin Williams claim there was a lack of consultation over the proposal and are concerned that it will mean the loss of an important site for a potential development of eight social housing units.
The site was put forward as a candidate site for residential development in the Local Development Plan but was not selected.
A planning application to build the school on the site of a vacated farm at The Brooks Holding Site on Station Road was submitted to the council’s planning officers in June and has yet to be considered.
Under the proposal, access to and from the school would be off Chepstow Road, where the existing junior and infant school buildings are located.
The existing buildings will be demolished to allow car parking to be developed. Pupils, staff and visitors will use the existing and new footbridges over Barton Brook to gain pedestrian access from this point to the new site.
Work on the school is expected to start next summer and open in late 2015. It is part of the council’s 21-st century school programme and will replace the current school in the village and offer a standard of facilities similar to those at Caldicot’s Dewstow Primary School.
Raglan Primary School is one of only six school`s in Monmouthshire with separate junior and infant blocks, which conflicts with the county`s aim of bringing together all children at primary level under one roof.
Both blocks suffer poor energy and high maintenance levels with limitations over access comfort levels, light levels and ventilation and this is reflected in the county`s condition survey records which indicate Raglan is among the six school`s that fall into the lowest category.
The existing school site will be handed back to the council and part developed as a car park to serve the village and the school.
The decision will be scrutinized by the strong communities select committee at a special meeting in County Hall at 10am today.
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