Plans to expand three Wilmslow schools at a cost of £3 million were endorsed by the Cabinet member responsible for Children and Family Services yesterday.
In April wilmslow.co.uk reported that Cheshire East Council is considering expanding three local schools to meet the growing demand and create over three hundred additional places.
Forecasts indicate that there will be a need for an additional 327 pupil places in the Wilmslow area by 2018, which includes a 4% 'operational surplus' to accommodate some degree of parental choice and allow for mid-year entrants.
The £3 million plan will provide an extra 330 places across all year groups and allow the number of reception places to increase by 45 from 360 to 405 by September 2014.
Wilmslow Grange Community Primary and Nursery School in Handforth will increase from 210 to 315 pupils, Dean Oaks Primary will increase from 315 to 420 pupils and the Council will work with Lacey Green Primary Academy to provide an additional 120 places. The expansions will provide a total of 2828 primary school places overall.
The expansion of Lacey Green Primary Academy is subject to Secretary of State approval as changes will need to be made to their funding agreement.
The intake at Wilmslow Grange Community Primary School would increase from 30 to 45, whilst at both Dean Oaks Primary School and Lacey Green Primary School Academy the intake would increase from 45 to 60.
The building works necessary for these proposals would be funded from the Council's 2013/2014 Capital Programme. The investments required for each school are estimated at £887,000 for Wilmslow Grange Community Primary, £900,000 for Dean Oaks Primary and £1,237,000 for Lacey Green Primary Academy.
Funding approved by the Council includes £887,000 for the proposed expansion of Wilmslow Grange and £1,237,000 has been set aside as a block allocation to fund one of two options - Dean Oaks Primary or Lacey Green Primary Academy.
Therefore additional investment of £900,000 is required to implement all three proposals, this could come from reallocating funds from the Children, Families and Adults 2013- 2014 Capital Programme or obtaining funding from the Department for Education.
The Portfolio holder's approval follows a five week consultation during which 31 responses were received. Positive views included that there would be more children to make friends with, new teachers and new resources. Negative comments were about the potential for noise during building works, a smaller playground and increased traffic in the area.
The next stage in the statutory process involves the publication of notices and a 4 week representation period, which will take place from 18th July to 15th August 2013, followed by a Cabinet decision on 16th September 2013. Implementation would then start on 24th September 2013 so the project could be completed by September 2014.
Implementation of the Wilmslow Grange Community Primary and Nursery and Dean Oaks Primary School proposals will be subject to the necessary planning permissions. Planning permission has already been granted to Lacey Green Academy for their expansion plans.