New school plea refused

Malvern Gazette: PROTEST: Campaigners for a new school in Malvern Vale making their feelings known to the county council. PROTEST: Campaigners for a new school in Malvern Vale making their feelings known to the county council.

PARENTS have reacted angrily to news that a new primary school is unlikely to be built in their community in the near future.

The new school was approved as part of the planning application for Malvern Vale, off Leigh Sinton Road, by developers Persimmon Homes in 2006. But the ultimate responsibility for its construction fell to Worcestershire County Council.

The council says there are enough school places in the town and no need to build the new school.

But Malvern Vale Residents Group is lobbying the county council to push ahead based on the findings of its own survey, which says there are about 200 children aged four and under on the estate.

Group chairman Tom James said: “We have great concerns about the future of schooling for the children on Malvern Vale.

“We are doing all we can to persuade the council to change its mind and go ahead with the original plans. We are building a real community here on Malvern Vale and this primary school is vital to continue this into the future.”

The group says it fears nearby schools will soon become full and the land earmarked for the school next to the Malvern Vale Community Centre will be sold back to the developers for more housing.

They have so far collected 40 signatures on their petition.

Coun John Raine, county councillor for Malvern Trinity, said, “Plans for Malvern Vale were approved as a self-sustaining community concept with strong emphasis on pedestrian movement.

“Malvern Vale residents would rightly feel badly cheated if the county council now decided against building the school.”

Resident Katy Pitt, who is mum to Molly-Mae, aged two, and Toby, five months, said the proposed school was a “big part” of the reason she moved to the estate. “The council really needs to take another look at this and re-consider its options,” she said.

Coun Liz Eyre, county council cabinet member for children and families, said: “At this time the number of school places in the Malvern area is sufficient, however, the county council will continue to monitor numbers and respond as necessary.”

The petition can be found at ipetitions.com/petition/ malvernvale.

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