New school set to be built in Northampton

Town short of 150 Year Seven places from September

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:26 pm
Library picture
Library picture

A shortage of secondary places in Northampton is set to see the county council enter a 125-year lease for land with the Department for Education for the construction of a new school.

The county’s cabinet member for finance is asked to approve the council entering into an agreement for lease with the DfE as a shortage of 150 year seven places is forecast from 2021/22 onwards.

The DfE needs to obtain planning approval for the new school before the council will grant a 125-year lease at a peppercorn rent to an academy school trust on land known as Wantage Farm in Moulton.

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Councillor Malcolm Longley is asked to make the approval and the decision is due to be made on Monday (March 29).

A council report states the development of the new secondary school will attract in excess of £25m of investment into Northampton.

It states the council identified a future shortage of places for secondary school children in Northampton.

It reads: ‘This shortage of places is forecast to equate to approximately 150 year seven places in each academic year from 2021/22 onwards.

‘For the avoidance of doubt there is no other manner in which NCC or the West Northants Council will be able to meet the demand for secondary school places without a new DfE delivered secondary school.

‘And without a new school delivered at the Wantage Farm site, there is a clear and immediate risk of NCC and WNC failing in its statutory obligations of providing a sufficient number of school places in this area of the county.’

The council has offered some of its retained strategic development land to the DfE to secure investment.

Wantage Farm is not currently allocated for development and DfE needs to obtain planning approval for the new school before the council will grant a 125-year lease at a peppercorn rent.

The report states the DfE will be responsible for applying for planning consent for the new school and formal consultation on planning and land use issues of the proposal will be undertaken at that time.

It goes on to state: ‘This proposal secures investment from the DfE to construct the new school. Having to fund the construction of a new school would require the council to source £25m of capital funding which it currently has not budgeted for.’