£20m move for Carre’s?

Stock images.'Carres Grammar School sign.
Stock images.'Carres Grammar School sign.

Carre’s Grammar School is considering a £20 million relocation to a site further out of town - but not the one first thought as part of Sleaford’s Draft Local Plan.

Carre’s Grammar School is considering a £20 million relocation to a site further out of town - but not the one first thought as part of Sleaford’s Draft Local Plan.

A 13-acre site at the bottom of The Drove has been earmarked for secondary education as part of an urban extension to the north and west of the town to take shape over the next 20 years within the Central Lincolnshire Draft Local Plan, which will guide the location and development of housing, jobs, shops and schools in the area.

It was first thought Carre’s Grammar school might relocate there, but now as a multi-academy trust linked to Kesteven and Sleaford High School, plans are forming for a possible new co-educational academy on the outskirts.

Headteacher at Carre’s, Nick Law said, based on the numbers at the schools currently, a co-educational academy would comprise some 1,600 pupils.

He said: “We have done sequential testing to find the best place to have a site. We are considering locations both inside the bypass and outside. Our long-term vision to have a co-ed establishment on one site is very much alive, but our vision would require considerably more than 13 acres.”

A feasibility study is also being carried out and he said the new site would require a new roundabout or spur road for access from the bypass.

Mr Law said they would need at least £20 million which would have to be funded by the sale of their current sites. “A planning application is a long way off - perhaps this time next year - and that would be quite contentious if we go outside the local plan,” he said. There would be a public consultation, meaning the whole process could take three to five years.

He said the new site would remain within 15 minutes’ walk of St George’s Academy as they return to a three-school joint sixth form next year. He would also encourage more cycling to reduce congestion. About 70 per cent of pupils already come into town by public transport.

He added: “There is the question of co-ed or not co-ed? There is a feeling in the town still for single sex education and there is still a lot of debate about which is better.”

A North Kesteven District Council spokesman said: “The 13 acres is not specifically for Carre’s Grammar School but is land made available for the provision of additional secondary schooling, for instance a sixth form facility or other educational facility. The council will condition the developer to provide more secondary schooling as a response to additional population growth within the area. The land is not identified for Carre’s but if Carre’s Grammar or anyone else wishes to make representation through consultation they can.”

NKDC officials have been “very pleased” with the attendance for the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan consultation evenings so far.

These have included sessions at Sleaford and Ruskington. According to visitor logs, 30 people attended the event in Sleaford at The Source.

Future public engagement dates are:

October 15 from 3.15-7.30pm - Billinghay Village Hall

October 20 from 3.15-7.30pm - The Windmill, Heckington

The formal consultation period runs until November 26.

See www.central-lincs.org.uk for more details or attend any of the events.