Swindon Council is restarting the consultation delayed from November to hear views on the provision of another 60 primary school places by September 2014.
Two options are being considered: expanding Orchid Vale Primary School in Haydon End to become a two form entry school and building a single form entry school on a green field site north of Mouldon Hill Country Park, to the west of Thamesdown Drive, or building a new two form entry school at Mouldon Hill.
The plans were supposed to be discussed with the public in November but had to withdrawn after confusion of the boundaries and land ownership of the proposed north of the park
The outline plans are available to view at council offices from until 23 February, and are on show at a public consultation at The Tawny Owl on Wednesday 23 January 2013, 3pm to 7pm.
In addition there will be a public drop in session between 3pm and 7pm on Thursday 31 January at Orchid Vale Primary School, Torun Way, to discuss the permanent expansion of the school to two form entry.
However, following the Swindon Council cabinet meeting on 12 December to ‘seek public opinion,’ the Labour Group leader Jim Grant has called on the Conservative administration to rethink their pursuit of building the school on a green field site at Mouldon Hill Country Park and to focus on finding a another more viable site.
He said: “I am calling on the Conservative administration to end their pursuit of building a two form of entry primary school at Mouldon Hill Country Park. I am opposed to building on this site for two reasons.
"Firstly I do not believe in developing on country parks and designated green open spaces. Secondly, this site is a flood plain and I have strong concerns about the effects this school will have around future flooding.
"There are other sites where this school could be built, like a currently unoccupied site in Redhouse, or the plot of land off of Westfield Way, and even the old Groundwell Park and Ride site could be used if necessary
"Everybody recognises that there is a desperate need for a school to be built in North Swindon and the Conservatives have failed parents by having not already built a primary school when it is needed. However the Mouldon Hill site is not suitable and the administration should quickly find an alternative site for a new primary school and urgently set the wheels in motion to get this school built.”
Cllr Dale Heenan reacted to the opposition’s viewpoint by saying: "It’s a shame that Jim Grant did’n’t bother turning up to the cabinet meeting to object, and instead went straight to the media. Where do they propose the council builds a school?
"This is a consultation so please can residents send in their views. If there are alternatives, they can be considered."
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson reacted with anger that Cllr Grant had been allowed to comment at swindonlink.com writing on the Priory Vale Facebook page:
‘What a rubbish article, just a load of Labour tripe. Swindon Link again publishing their stuff without allowing councillors a chance to respond, very sloppy. The last Labour government failed to provide money for sufficient schools in the early stages of development. Labour councillors then opposed many of the school expansions. They now suggest Groundwell Park & Ride as a site for Oakhurst parents – they seriously need a map.’
Pictured, the site near Mouldon Hill Park being considered for a new school. Below, the green field location showing road access off Thamesdown Drive