WISBECH: Plans to expand Orchards Primary School by 50 per cent

Plans have been unveiled to expand the capacity of a Wisbech primary school by 50 per cent to cater for an expected increase in the number of school places needed in the town.

Cambridgeshire County Council is proposing to increase capacity of Orchards Primary School from 420 pupils to 630. This means the school will be able to admit 90 reception aged children (4-year-olds) in September this year and in subsequent years.

A rise in the birth rate in Wisbech and elsewhere in Cambridgeshire means extra school places will be needed from September 2013 and beyond.

These plans will enable a sufficient number of reception places to be provided in Wisbech in the 2013 and 2014 academic years.

Internal alterations are already being discussed with the school to enable it to take the additional children it will have on roll over the next two years.

It is anticipated that a permanent extension to the school to enable it to accommodate up to 630 pupils will be completed in time for September 2016.

A statutory notice detailing the proposals will be published in the week beginning 15 April, followed by a four-week period when residents and other interested parties can support, object to or comment on the plans. The final decision will be made by the County Council’s Cabinet.

Wisbech North County Councillor Sam Hoy said: “I fully support the plans to expand The Orchards Primary School. Children born within its catchment area will naturally want to attend the school when they reach the age of four, and this proposal to expand the school will enable them to do that.

“But the County Council needs the views of residents, so I would urge as many people as possible to respond to the consultation.”