THE number of new secondary schools planned for Northampton over the next 15 years has been criticised by opponents to the latest expansion plans for the area.
Earlier this week, the West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit (JPU) revealed detailed plans showing where 11,000 new houses could be built around the edge of Northampton by 2026.
But extra details revealed by the JPU yesterday show they expect only one new secondary school to be built in the town during the expansion period.
The figure has been described as ‘unbelievable’ by the deputy leader of the opposition on Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Phil Larratt (Con, East Hunsbury).
He said: “I can’t believe we only need one new secondary school. With all those houses, we need at least two surely, if not three?
“We’ve already got admission problems at places like Moulton and Kingsthorpe and with all the development we’ve seen at Upton over the past few years, I’d say we already need a new secondary school.
“This whole thing just beggars belief.”
The JPU has said that by 2026, Daventry and Towcester will also need a new secondary school each.
Northampton has also been earmarked for 12 new primary schools while it has been suggested Towcester should have two and Daventry should have three.
There would also be a number of expansions made to existing schools in the three towns.
The chairman of the JPU’s joint strategic planning committee, Councillor Chris Millar (Con, Guilsborough & West Haddon) defended the plays, saying one of the main aims of the JPU’s work was to improve standards of education alongside the expansion of the town.
He said: “Whatever the numbers are, one of our primary aims is to improve the quality of schools in Northampton, and I think that’s very important.
“There has been a feeling that some schools haven’t been up to scratch and we believe that one of the benefits of the expansion should be that the existing population of Northampton benefits, so there will be an improvement in education as part of the growth.”
The JPU will discuss the housing plans on Monday, January 31 before they are put out to public consultation.