Plans submitted to rebuild ‘inadequate’ Newton Poppleford school

Proposals for a new school building at Newton Poppleford Primary School

Proposals for a new school building at Newton Poppleford Primary School - Credit: Archant

Plans to demolish and rebuild Newton Poppleford Primary School have been submitted after the Government identified it as in ‘urgent’ need.

The Education Funding Agency’s (EFA) proposals would replace the seven existing buildings – deemed ‘unsuitable and inadequate’ – with a purpose-built, two-storey building.

The existing vehicle access is set to be retained – despite residents warning of an ‘accident waiting to happen’ in School Lane if no improvements are made. They called for extra parking or a lay-by to drop off pupils when the school held a consultation on the plans.

The application says the access is ‘not subject to an abnormally high accident rate’, and as the capacity is staying at 210 pupils, traffic levels should not increase.

Other residents complained about the loss of a Victorian building and the construction of an ‘eyesore’ in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The application said: “The proposal results in the provision of a high quality, modern and more efficient school located into a singular building. The proposed works conserve and enhance the location of the site in an AONB, improving the learning environment and educational experience of its pupils for the benefit of the local community.”

The Department for Education provides funding to schools in urgent need via the EFA. The condition of Newton Poppleford Primary has been assessed as being in the bottom one per cent of schools nationally.

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The development would increase the internal floor space by nearly 20 per cent to 1,310sqm, plus add an additional 130sqm of soft play space and a new sports field.

It will also incorporate the nursery into the main building and add parking for 20 scooters and 10 bicycles.

The parish council will consider the application this evening (Monday).

Its fate will be decided by East Devon District Council.