New details revealed on plans to relocate flood-threatened primary school

PUBLISHED: 10:36 17 October 2019

Flooding at Tipton St John. Ref sho 3145 Tipton Flood. Picture: Paul Taylor

Flooding at Tipton St John. Ref sho 3145 Tipton Flood. Picture: Paul Taylor

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Further details have been revealed on plans to relocate flood-prone Tipton St John Primary School to a site in Ottery St Mary.

Preliminary plans for a new education facility and 150 homes at the Thorne Farm site include building a road connecting Exeter Road with the top of Cadhay Lane, which would become an 'access only' route.

At an extraordinary meeting of Ottery St Mary Town Council, Jon Williams and Simon Niles, of Devon County Council (DCC), also revealed 37 of the 150 homes would be affordable housing.

There could also be a childrens' play park and a 0.5-acre plot earmarked for possible future expansion of the nearby Kings School.

The DCC officers fielded questions from councillors over the need to move from Tipton and the impact of housing and a new road could have on Ottery.

Mr Williams said the Environment Agency had concerns that flooding presented a 'risk to life' at the Tipton site and the 150 homes at Thorne Farm would meet the authority's £5million funding shortfall to complete the relocation.

Mr Williams said: "There have been multiple floods over time and the condition of the school is deteriorating.

"The real flooding issues that relate to this site are the ability to evacuate children in a flash flood situation."

Mr Niles added: "We are continuing to liaise with the Environment Agency regarding the flood around a number of our schools and Tipton remains top of their list in terms of priority."

Once built, the school will initially cater for 210 pupils, and would take children from Ottery St Mary.

Currently, there are 24 children from Tipton on the roll at the primary school and Mr Niles said the average number of new starters from the village is less than seven in recent years.

A further meeting will be held with parents of Tipton St John Primary School tonight (Thursday, October 17).

A public consultation event will be held at Ottery St Mary Football Club on Monday, October 28, from noon to 7pm.

A formal planning application is due to be submitted to East Devon District Council in January.

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