New £5m primary and nursery school a step closer after farmland is bought

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

Plans to build a new £5 million primary school and nursery in Bestwood Village have taken a step forward after the purchase of farmland was given the go-ahead.

A deal to buy up part of the Westhouse Farm site, to the north of the village, from developers has been approved by Nottinghamshire County Council for an undisclosed amount.

Announcing the "exciting news", the council says it aims to have a new primary school and nursery built and open in two years' time, to meet increasing demand for places due to new housing in the area.

The new school will replace the existing Hawthorne Primary and Nursery, originally built in 1878, which is now split over two sites. The school is operating at capacity and does not have room for further expansion to meet demand.

A further 500 new houses are earmarked to be built in the village in Gedling Borough Council's Local Plan.

Councillor Philip Owen, chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, welcomed the progress.

He said: "This is exciting news for children and families in the Bestwood area, who can now look forward to attending a brand new school in two years' time.

"There has been a considerable amount of new housing development in Bestwood over the last 10 years, which has attracted many young families to the area.

Hawthorne Primary, Bestwood Village

Hawthorne Primary, Bestwood Village

"With further housing development in Bestwood outlined in Gedling Borough Council's Local Plan, it was important that we acted swiftly to ensure the extra demand for school places could be met.

"Negotiations have taken place between the County Council and Langridge Homes, who own the whole 75 ha Westhouse Farm site, to buy a 1.5 ha plot for the new school.

"The new school will be positioned between new housing on the site and the existing settlement of Bestwood, ensuring it is accessible for new and existing families."

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The new school, to replace the existing 210 pupil school in the village, will be able to accommodate 315 pupils, with space set aside for a further expansion to 420 pupils if required.

Head teacher Elaine Millington told the Post earlier this year: "This is such exciting news for the staff, parents and children at the school.

"We have struggled in recent years to accommodate children in our catchment area so this will be welcomed by everyone connected with the school."

Councillor Owen said: "Providing a modern, high quality learning environment for our children can only be beneficial for their education.

"This is a good example of how the county council's new Corporate Plan - Your Nottinghamshire, Your Future - is being delivered in practice by investing in our infrastructure and making good on our commitment to make Nottinghamshire a great place to bring up your family."