New School: ‘wrong place, wrong size and wrong type’

Goodmores farm

Goodmores farm - Credit: Archant

Proposals for a second Brixington school have been blasted by town councillors as too small, the wrong type and in the wrong place.

Last week the Journal revealed that town councillors were unaware that Goodmores Farm had been earmarked for a new school.

The Local Plan (LP), East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) blueprint for homes up to 2026, states that 700 homes should be built, split between 14 hectares at Goodmores Farm, off Dinan Way and at Plumb Park, in Littleham.

The two-year LP consultation included feedback from the town hall before being filed for approval by Whitehall planning chiefs in the spring.

But changes, including a site for a new school, were added without town councillors being consulted so the planning inspector ordered a new consultation.

On Monday, councillors debated what their response should be and Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “I did attend most Local Plan meetings…

“I recall that the county council were asked several times what they were going to do about education and nothing transpired.

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“It’s a shame this didn’t come up earlier.”

Councillor Trevor Cope, branch secretary for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said that Brixington School has capacity to expand and extension work had been carried out at Marpool and Bassett’s Farm schools.

He said that there was no ‘logic’ for a school at Goodmores unless it was for Lympstone children: “Plumb Park is the other side of town…unless buses are supplied there is no way children are going to travel…”

He added: “The community college is increasing the school leaving age…

“That leaves the community college in a pickle. It is going to be too small to cope with the increase in the school leaving age and all the new primary pupils coming through.

“Somebody should have worked out that we have more older students that need educational facilities than younger students because we are already providing for those.

“Our response should be that this is the wrong place, wrong size and wrong type.”

Councillor Sandy Sutton said: “A 210-pupil school is too small to be economically viable.”