Council backs teacher’s concerns

PLANS for the extension of a Great Cornard school are “not fit for purpose”, according to a parish councillor, writes Elliot Pinkham.

Suffolk County Council has submitted an application for a new annexe featuring two classrooms at Wells Hall Primary School.

The authority is also seeking permission to convert the existing play area into car parking, create a new hard playground and build a temporary classroom at the site in Wells Hall Road.

On Tuesday, the plans went before Great Cornard Parish Council, which decided to neither support nor oppose them, instead backing headteacher Judith Fardell’s comments.

Read out at the meeting by council manager Michael Fitt, Mrs Fardell’s statement said: “I feel disappointed that there are no funds to link the main building to the new classes, especially when other schools are having far more spent on them.

“Our staff room will still be too small to accommodate all staff and we don’t have a library – we are using a corridor at the moment.”

Speaking during the meeting, councillor Tom Keane said: “Long term, that site is too small. Those comments suggest the school will not be fit for purpose.”

Neil MacMaster said: “You have got problems with cars going in and out and the fact they haven’t got a library is very bad.

“We are not recommending refusal, we are backing the comments of the headteacher, but the county council will do what it wants anyway.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “The plans under the School Organisation Review are to create extra class space as we are extending the schools.

“As it is not a complete redesign of the school, looking at the size of the staff rooms is not part of the particular application, although that is not to say development will not take place in future.

“While we are the planning authority and one department makes an application to another, this has been the case for years.

“There is complete separation of roles and the authority has turned down applications from itself before,” he added.

The parish council also recommended plans for two further classrooms, as well as additional car parking spaces at Pot Kiln Primary School, for approval.

l What do you think to the plans to extend the school? Let us have your views by writing to Letters, Suffolk Free Press, Borehamgate, Sudbury, CO10 2EE or by emailing comment@suffolkfreepress.co.uk.