Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Plans to double size of South Ockendon primary school

PLANS to double the size of a South Ockendon primary school were backed by Thurrock Council’s planning committee on Thursday (7 April) night.

The proposal is to integrate and link the former Knightsmead special school with the current Somers Heath – both off Foyle Drive.

The Knightsmead site has been overgrown and derelict for some years and the council’s plans are to capitalise on the fact it has remained water tight and secure to modernise it and expand Somers Heath to a two form entry school by the re-establishment of the Knightsmead building and creating an extension to connect both.

The plan also includes internal alterations to both schools.

Somers Heath currently has temporary classrooms which would be removed as the building work progressed and the work to create the two-form school would start later this month with the aim of providing enough new-build so the new-look school can operate from this coming September.

The proposal would create room for an additional 180 students – the same as Knightsmead when it was open – and although the number of staff would also increase, so would the car parking on site.

The council’s Pupil Place Planning scheme estimates a major rise in the need for primary places between now and 2020, especially in the Ockendon and Aveley area.

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