Bigger school 'high priority'

A ROADSHOW this week gave parents and pupils a look at what the future holds for Ottery Primary School.

A ROADSHOW this week gave parents and pupils a look at what the future holds for Ottery Primary School.It arrived as planning permission was granted for a state of the art redevelopment. Devon County Council's community roadshow bus arrived yesterday to present the proposed project, answer questions and hear the public's views.Students at the school came a step closer to the new facilities after the £4million 'high priority' application was approved by county planners on January 23.A decision whether to give the project the green light is expected once the council's capital budget is set in MarchA Devon County Council spokesman said: "The capital budget has not yet been agreed and building is dependent on funding. "However, we wanted to get planning in place so that we can proceed if funding is agreed and we now want to hear people's views."Headteacher Doug Rylance said: "We are all very pleased the planning application has been successful but the scheme is still dependant on funding."It is a fabulous scheme which would address many of the school's existing problems."We would be delighted if it went ahead as it would benefit the whole community."Mr Rylance said the roadshow was a good opportunity to consult with residents and show them the detail of what is planned.The designs propose removing the existing key stage two section of the school and erecting a two storey building with an ICT suite, dance and drama studio and new classrooms.This would allow the school to increase pupil numbers from 335 to 420.Sustainability would also play an important role with rainwater harvesting, natural lighting, pipes to bring sunlight in and a passive ventilation system.Permission was granted in 2005 for a similar although smaller scale development at the school, but a lack of funding meant this was never built.Roger Giles, Devon County Councillor for Ottery, said: "This scheme will provide greatly improved facilities, and will result in a very much improved learning environment for very many Ottery children now, and in the future.Mr Giles said Mr Rylance and school staff had worked wonders in very poor conditions and he urged the county council to make the investment the school deserved and neededHe said: "The new scheme will mean an end to strategically placed buckets and mopping up after heavy rain,"Most importantly it will resolve the acute problem of very cramped conditions and classrooms that are far too small. "Ottery primary school children will finally get the up-to-date and first class facilities that they deserve.

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