School applies for 12-month extension to stay at temporary home

Northampton Borough Council's planning committee will make the decision
Northampton Borough Council's planning committee will make the decision

A Northampton school has been forced to apply for an 12-month extension to stay at their temporary home due to delays in delivering a new site.

The Spires Academy is currently based at the former council depot in Station Close in Great Billing, with temporary planning permission for use of the site expiring in February 2019.

Now the Education and Skills Funding Agency has applied for variation to that planning permission which would allow the school, and its 39 pupils, a 12-month extension at the council-owned building.

The application, which is due to be discussed by Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday (July 31), is due to a delay in the delivery of a permanent site at Northgate House on Sheep Street, which was approved in June last year. Council papers do not address the causes for the delay.

The Academy schools pupils with behavioural difficulties, those that have been permanently excluded from other schools, and children that cannot sustain a place in mainstream education.

Residents are being consulted on the application, and so far only one letter of objection has been received, which relates to ‘problem parking’ in the area.

Planning officers have recommended the 12-month extension be granted, but it is the councillors of the planning committee who will have the final say next week.