Res­i­dents de­mand a new pri­mary school

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

NINE out of 10 peo­ple ques­tioned want a new pri­mary school on Ash­ford’s Goat Lees es­tate.

A to­tal 90 per cent of lo­cal re­spon­dents to a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion have called for a 210place school on the new es­tate near Ken­ning­ton.

One res­i­dent in the sur­vey for Kent County Coun­cil com­mented: “There are clearly more peo­ple mov­ing into the area, par­tic­u­larly from Lon­don. With the high-speed link this will in­crease and de­mand for school places will be at a pre­mium.”

An­other added: “The need for a pri­mary school in Goat Lees is well-founded and would be­come a vi­tally im­por­tant for a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.”

The sur­vey re­sults will be de­bated by KCC’s school or­gan­i­sa­tion ad­vi­sory board (SOAB) next Thurs­day .

A re­port to the com­mit­tee points out that 30,000 new houses are planned in Ash­ford by 2030 and the Goat Lees es­tate, com­pleted in 2005, pro­duced 732 homes. But the neigh­bour­ing three pri­mary schools are nearly full with just 18 spare places and a short­fall over the next five years is pre­dicted.

Fore­casts also show that four ex­tra re­cep­tion classes may need to be opened by 2013.

The re­port says that a new school would cost £4 mil­lion and be opened in Septem­ber 2012.

The pro­posal al­ready has sup­port from lo­cal county and bor­ough coun­cil­lors and Ash­ford MP Damian Green.

The sur­vey re­sults fol­lowed a pub­lic meet­ing at The Tow­ers School in Ken­ning­ton on Novem­ber 25 and the end of the first pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on De­cem­ber 15.

The SOAB is be­ing asked to give its views on the scheme and on Jan­uary 28 the is­sue will come be­fore the KCC cab­i­net.

If the scheme is still sup­ported bid­ders will be in­vited to com­pete to de­velop the project and an­other pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion takes place in the sum­mer.

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