16 November

Chatteris residents can have their say on ambitious plans to extend the town's Cromwell Community College to provide a new primary school and pre-school facilities.

A letter has been sent out headed "Dear neighbour" by the project design company Morgan Sindall inviting people to attend a 'drop-in' public consultation event on Wednesday(14) at the Cromwell.

The event will run from 3.30pm to 7pm and people can 'drop-in' and chat to county council officers along with members of the project team.

The draft plans to extend the school in Wenny Road also include an increase to the secondary and sixth form provision, to serve the anticipated rise in the number of school age children.

The plans include purpose-built accommodation for 210 primary school pupils with a 52 pupil pre-school constructed as part of a phased development. Phase 2 will allow for a further 210 pupil expansion of the primary school element.

It will also provide for a 150 pupil expansion of the existing Cromwell Community College with a new teaching block and some remodelling and re-organisation of the existing facilities.

Work will include a new main college entrance and central administration facilities to reflect the combined all through school for pupils aged 4 to 18.

Improved facilities for art, science, music and drama with additional classrooms and assembly rooms are also proposed.

Improvements will be made to the access of the existing school car park from Wenny Road, with new disabled bays located close to the new main entrance and primary school.

There will also be improved car parking arrangements to the existing car park at the rear of the site accessed from Eastwood.

Finally there will be a new pedestrian/cycle access from Wenny Road leading to the new primary school and new main college entrance as well as extended sports facilities and improved external social spaces.

Construction is due to start next summer and should be completed by the start of the September 2020 school term.

The project team including the county council and the school's sponsor - the Active Learning Trust - are currently consulting with the local planning authority alongside other stakeholder groups to ensure the proposals meet their planning requirements prior to a formal planning application being made early next year.

The letter adds: "The project team recognise the importance of early engagement and consultation with the local community and to seek your views on the draft proposals. To facilitate this feed back a public consultation has been arranged for November 14."

Headteacher Jane Horn said: "We are really excited to be given this opportunity to become an all through school, which will be the one of the first in Cambridgeshire. Working with families throughout their children’s education has obvious advantages and we are confident that this expansion will allow Cromwell Community College to continue to improve.

"Cromwell is part of the Active Learning Trust which has many very successful primaries and early years settings across the East of England. We are looking forward to working with our colleagues across the Trust to ensure that we deliver an education which is of the highest standards.”