Council seeks permission to get rid of unused middle school sites

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Suffolk County Council has applied to the Government for permission to sell or demolish Uplands and All Saints middle schools in Sudbury.

Both schools are due to close at the end of the summer term as part of the county council’s move from a three-tier to a two-tier educational system.

A spokesman for the council said: “We haven’t taken the decision to demolish or sell the schools – what we have done is apply for permission to dispose of both sites, should we eventually find that no alternative uses are proposed.

“This is only an advance measure, made necessary because of the length of time it can take to get Government permission.”

A community consultation on possible uses for the sites is due to be held in the summer, with community uses considered if no educational or county council use is deemed suitable.

Uplands Middle School is the largest of the sites in the area to be closed this summer, at just over 16 acres, while All Saints covers 12.2 acres.

Great Cornard Middle School is being incorporated into Thomas Gainsborough School, while the Stoke-by-Nayland Middle School site has been sold to The Plymouth Brethren, a Christian church sect which plans to turn it into an independent faith school for 150 pupils aged between three and 13

The council spokesman added: “If no sustainable suggestions are proposed, we have a duty to ensure we achieve the best value from the disposal of the sites.”

The move from three-tier to two-tier education across the county is expected to cost Suffolk County Council £103million.