WORCESTER’s new primary school looks set to built on the derelict former home of the city’s park and ride scheme according to proposals due to be discussed by councillors.
Council chiefs will debate plans on Tuesday to dispose of the part of the mothballed site to enable construction of the new North Worcester Primary Academy.
The former Park and Ride site comprises approximately five acres of land and council chiefs are proposing three acres are sold to the Government for the development of the new ‘free school’. Worcester City Council would retain ownership of the remaning land.
The new primary school is to be set up and operated by the Rivers CE Academy Trust which also runs the very popular and highly rated Northwick Manor Primary School.
Once planning permission has been obtained, it’s intended the Secretary of State will then grant a 125 yearlease to the trust who will operate a two form entry primary school, with 420 places.
In addition there will be 26 full-time nursery places and the new school is expected to ease the considerable pressure on school place in the north of the city.
Transport chiefs at Worcestershire County Council closed the site in September 2014 in a desperate bid to slash costs and save an estimated £25million a year in taxpayers’ cash.
The decision provoked criticism and came amidst a host of bus services being axed as county chiefs also reduced cash paid to operators provide services.
Taxpayers have had to fork out almost £50,000 to keep the Worcester City Council-owned John Comyn Drive site secure according to a report to city councillors.
Using the site for the new school was first raised by Claines councillor Coun Andy Stafford in May following the Government’s decision to rubber-stamp the Rivers CE Academy Trust bid to run the new school.
Speaking to the Observer at the time, Coun Stafford said: “This site is vacant, ideally located, has excellent road links, a safe crossing, and would be straightforward to develop to help meet the target opening of September 2018,” he said.
Coun Stafford, who represents the area for the Conservatives on both Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council, highlighted the benefits of the Droitwich Road site.
“Using this site for the new primary school also prevents pressure being applied to build on playing fields or greenbelt land,” he added.