Plans for new school in South Molton gather pace

Plans for a new school in South Molton look set to take a big step forward this week.

Plans for a new school in South Molton look set to take a big step forward this week. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

County council being asked to spend £750,000 on a site for a junior school building.

Plans for a new school in South Molton look set to take a big step forward this week. Picture: Andy

Plans for a new school in South Molton look set to take a big step forward this week. Picture: Andy Keeble - Credit: Archant

Plans for a new school in South Molton are set to come a step closer next week.

Devon County Council’s is being asked to spend £750,000 on a site for a new building to replace the town’s outdated junior school.

The building itself would then be paid for under the Government-funded Priority Schools Building Programme.

It would be designed to accommodate 60 extra pupils to cope with the extra housing planned for the town.


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Cabinet members will be told on Wednesday that the site at Exeter Gate would be big enough for a 420-place school.

Both the junior school and the town’s infant school are considering expanding to become primaries.

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North Devon Council has already confirmed that the Exeter Gate site is earmarked for education use in the draft local plan for the town.

The Government’s national Education Funding Agency has also confirmed it intends to rebuild the school.

It says if Devon owns the land by the end of November it will press on with putting the new school out to contract.

The county council’s member for schools, James McInnes, said: “I will be recommending my colleagues to approve this as a matter of urgency.

“This proposal follows discussions with the Local Learning Community and is in accord with the education vision for the town which the infants, juniors and community college have all presented.

“This future proofs education in South Molton and means both schools can be expanded relatively easily as the town expands.”

South Molton county councillor Jeremy Yabsley said the proposals had been discussed in detail with the town council and district council members who all backed it.

He said: “This is fantastic news for South Molton and achieves what has been, for many years, the most needed and most desired school infrastructure improvement.

“I know that a huge amount of time and effort has been devoted to this project by many people over an extended period, my sincere thanks and congratulations to all involved.”

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