Old Buckenham special needs school plans enter next stage

Attleborough, Norfolk. Chapel Road School in Attleborough ENGANL00120131016162316
Attleborough, Norfolk. Chapel Road School in Attleborough ENGANL00120131016162316

Plans for an £11.8 million special needs school in Old Buckenham aiming to replace an existing one in Attleborough have advanced to the next phase after a planning application was formally submitted by Norfolk County Council.

The proposal, if approved, would see the 60 pupils of Chapel Road SEN School move to newer facilities on former agricultural land near to Old Buckenham Primary School on Abbey Road, in time for the 2016 academic year.

However, despite the proposal getting a generally positive reception during its public consultation period, Old Buckenham Parish Council has expressed worries about the site’s ease of access and the potential dangers to children, and suggested that adjustments to nearby speed zones would be needed to ensure the safety of the area.

Parish clerk James Watling, summarising the thoughts of the members, said: “The parish council and a lot of residents have serious concerns about the access to the school.

“The entrance is only about 40 metres from a 60 miles-per-hour speed limit. With all the school coaches and cars going by, it would be highly dangerous.

“The parish council supports fully the idea of the school, but the question is whether the access has been fully thought out.”

Mr Watling added that the parish council would hold a meeting on August 14 to further discuss the matter.

The new school would provide spaces for 110 children and include a multi-purpose hall and multi-use games area, football pitches, a library and a special hydrotherapy pool.