North Devon’s first free school will still open in September despite earlier planning rejections.

NORTH Devon’s first free school has secured a new location less than a fortnight after planning permission for its temporary site was rejected.

Route 39 Academy had hoped to set up temporary classrooms at the Milky Way Adventure Park, but Torridge District Council’s plans committee rejected the idea.

Now the school will be opened at the former home of Clovelly Primary School in Higher Clovelly, which as a former school will not require planning permission.

The premises has been secured for opening in September, as the school had originally planned.

“I am over the moon that the temporary school is going to be at Clovelly,” said principal Joss Glossop,

“It offers us everything we require – and more – while the new school is being designed and built.

“The location, the building and the facilities are perfect for our needs and will offer our students the most wonderful learning environment.

“It is the perfect end to what has been a very long and sometimes frustrating process.”

Over the next few weeks work still start to renovate and adapt the old classrooms, and the ICT contract will also be awarded to the school can receive up-to-date technology.

The school hopes to make use of Clovelly Parish Hall for activities such as drama, dance and music, as well assemblies and lectures.

The site also includes a full sized football pitch.

Richard Bence, chair of governors at Route 39, said: “The governors of Route 39 Academy are extremely grateful to The Clovelly Estate and the committee of the Clovelly Parish Hall for their support and for turning around all the legal aspects of the move in such a short space of time.”

Parents and governors met for the first time on Friday evening with sixty families meeting staff and each other for the first time.

William Peers, one of the parents, said, “It was inspiring to see the teachers together for the first time – so enthusiastic and determined to make the school a success.”