MORE than £6million of funding for a new Christchurch primary school has been approved – despite fears over whether the school can be built in time.
Due to rising numbers of youngsters in the borough – and a campaign started by local parents – Dorset County Council has agreed to commit £6.78million of funding to build a new primary school.
Last year, frustrated parents formed the Christchurch Schools Action Group after their children lost out on a space at Christchurch Infants School, despite being within the all-important catchment area.
As a short-term solution, Dorset County Council, after discussions with the school and parents, installed a temporary classroom to accommodate pupils.
It will be in place until September 2015, when a new school will hopefully be built in the borough to accommodate youngsters.
At Dorset County Council cabinet meeting on Wed- nesday, cabinet member for corporate resources Robert Gould said that a need had been identified for the new primary school in Christ-church to be operational by September next year.
He said: “Christchurch is quite a constrained area in terms of development sites so it is right that we should move forward having identified a suitable site.”
After members agreed to commit to invest in the project, cabinet member for education and communications, Toni Coombs, warned that there were risks involved due to the ‘constrained time scale’ but added that the council would ensure there were back up measures in place.
She said: “There is a risk we will not be able to deliver a new primary school by 2015.
“If that does become apparent then we will have a plan B in place to make sure there are some sort of temporary measures.”
Due to the early stages of negotiation with a land owner, the council are currently unable to say where the site is likely to be.
Members of the campaign group said previously they wanted to see a school built in the west of the borough as currently there is only one primary school for the whole area.