Plans for a major expansion of St Peter’s School have been rubber-stamped by district planners.

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The plan is for the school, in Moor Lane, to expand onto the adjacent drill hall site, in a scheme which could eventually see six new classrooms being built.

The plan was previously supported by Budleigh Salterton Town Council, and now East Devon District Council has granted planning approval.

The school’s intention is for the classrooms to be built in stages, with the first two opening in September 2015, and the rest being built as funding becomes available, allowing the school to replace four mobile classrooms on its site, and take on new pupils from major housing developments in the town.

The school currently has places for 240 pupils, plus a 52-place nursery, but from September this year its intake will increase from 35 to 40, with the potential for this to increase to 45 in the long term.

The school’s chairman of governors John Beaumont said it was hoped building work would start late next year, with the opening of the first two classrooms in 2015 coinciding with the laying of the groundwork for the other classrooms, ready to be built as the funding is made available by Devon County Council.

He said the school was ‘very pleased indeed’ to have received planning permission, and added that the replacement of the mobile classrooms would be: “Better for the children, and for the staff as well.”

Headteacher Malcolm Elliot previously said the new buildings would provide the school’s pupils with 21st century facilities in which to learn.

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