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Expansion plans for Norton school
1:00pm Wednesday 4th June 2014 in News
A NORTON school hopes to expand and create four new classrooms to cater for an additional 105 pupils.
Plans for Gigmill County Primary Infant School also include making three existing undersized classrooms bigger, building a new staff room and play area and increasing dining room facilities.
Currently, the school on The Broadway has a pupil capacity of 525 but if the plans are approved, it will increase to 630 and four new jobs will be created.
Dudley Council has been allocated £1.74million basic need funding from Central Government to provide additional pupil places, as data indicated a future shortfall in pupil places.
Pauline Sharratt, interim director of children’s services, said the council was currently in consultation with the school and two other primary schools in Dudley, in relation to potential expansion plans, with a view to additional places being made available from September next year.
She added: "It must be stressed that the proposals are all subject to approval ."
However a number of residents have objected to the plans submitted to Dudley Council as they are concerned about parking, as surrounding roads are already chaotic when parents were dropping off and collecting their children.
Poole Street resident, Gavin Price, said that parking was already a "nightmare" and added: "This will make it much worse."
David and Ann Little, of Morning Pines said they "strongly object" to expansion: "Poole Street is a very narrow road and at present causes many problems by parents of school children parking before and after school and school staff parking all day.
"Our refuse collectors and emergency vehicles have great difficulty in negotiating what is often a chicane at present. Another four classrooms of children plus extra staff will lead to even more vehicles and undoubtedly exacerbate what is already a serious problem."
They added: "To increase the capacity of the school without addressing the current problems of access and parking is surely irresponsible and could lead to a very dangerous situation with reference to emergency vehicles needing access to residents and indeed the school itself."
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