Approval of Leighton lower schools expansion

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Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive has approved the expansion of two Leighton Buzzard lower school, which will provide an extra 300 places.

At a meeting of the Executive, councillors agreed proposals to expand Leedon Lower from 300 to 450 places and Clipstone Brook Lower from 225 to 375 places.

Additionally, Cranfield Church of England Academy will also increase from 300 to 450 places.

A meeting of the council’s Executive in December identified need for extra lower school places in Leighton Buzzard and approved consultations by Clipstone Brook and Leedon Lower about potentially expanding.

Taking into account the feedback from those consultations, business plans from the two schools and the growing demand for school places in Leighton Buzzard due to new and planned housing, the Executive approved the two expansion schemes, subject to planning permissions.

The work at Leedon Lower will see a new classroom block created, the school’s hall and entrance lobby extended and disabled access improved.

At Clipstone Brook the existing building will be expanded to provide new classrooms, cloakrooms, toilets and a library area. A new staffroom and drama room will also be provided with more play space outside and changes to access and parking at the school.

Both expansion schemes will be phased with one new reception class created at each school for the new academic year in September.

Sue Harrison, the council’s Director of Children’s Services, said: “Given the growing popularity of Central Bedfordshire as a place to live, it is vital that we continue to provide new school places to meet demand.

“That is why we are working hard to ensure that all children are able to attend a good local school by spending more than £100million over the next five years to create 6,500 places.

“I look forward to viewing these expansion schemes as they progress.”

For more information about the council’s school places programme, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/school-places

> More on this story in the April 7 issue of the LBO.