Public meetings to discuss St Peter's primary school expansion
By Prue_Reid | Thursday, January 10, 2013, 11:38
PUBLIC meetings are to be held in Portishead to discuss plans to expand a town primary school.
Portishead is back in the dark ages with not enough classroom space
North Somerset Council is to launch a consultation on Molnday, January 21, on proposals to extend St Peter's Primary School at Halletts Way to help solve the ongoing crisis with lack of school places in the town.
Initial plans for how the school could be expanded to provide additional places by September 2013 are currently being drawn up which will be presented at the two meetings.
North Somerset Council spokeswoman, Zoe Briffitt, said: "The official consultation is due to start January 21 which will contain all the relevant details about the plans.
Two public meetings are planned in the town for people to view the plans and have their say on the proposals.
The meetings are set for Wednesday, January 30 at 7.30pm at the Folk Hall and on Friday, February 1 from 9.30-11.30am at the Methodist Church on the High Street.
North Somerset Council has set up two separate working parties to work with school leaders, governors and parents look at the feasibility of expanding St Peter's School and turning it into an all through primary.
The move would increase the number of class places available from 420 to 630 - nearly a third bigger than the school is now.
The council has already agreed a deal to purchase a piece of land at the rear of 119-121 High Street for £330,000 and convert it into a car park and drop off point for the school.
The car park is being planned to ease concerns from local residents about the additional traffic a bigger school could bring to the area.
A planning application will have to be submitted for the new car park and drop off point.
If for any reason the plans are refused, the authority said it could re-market the site.
Schools in Portishead have already been expanded since 2010 but statistics have revealed that there will be a shortfall of 103 school primary spaces in the town by 2015.
The council has earmarked £400,000 to help it come up with short term solutions to the lack of school places while more permanent measures are put in place.
It is also working with governors at St Joseph's School about the possibility or providing an additional reception class from September 2013.
The Village Quarter Parents Action Group has also submitted a proposal for a free school in the town to the Department of Education.
Portishead, which currently has a population of around 22,000 is said to be the fastest growing town in Europe and when developments are complete will have a population of around 30,000.