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SIDMOUTH: Tipton St John primary school eyes new site
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Tipton St John Primary School could be moved to a new site in the village following persistent problems with flooding.
The village experienced flooding in 2009, 2012 and most recently in February this year, and staff have raised concerns about the safety of pupils who, they say, could be endangered if the village was to suffer from similar problems again.
Governors have drawn up plans to move the school to a safer site, which would also include merging the infant and junior sections of the school, currently separated by a road, onto one site.
Speaking at Ottery Town Council’s March meeting, Richard Power, Property Surveyor for the Church of England, said: “The school currently lies on a flood plain which is not a safe site for children. Children in certain parts of the building could be trapped if water comes down the road and we have flooding problems again.
“We have had great difficulty in finding a site that would meet the requirements but we believe we have now identified a site on the edge of the village.
“The two sections of the school would come together on a single site of around 1.5 hectares, which would also encompass the school playing field.”
The school, which has a capacity for 105 pupils, currently has 95 children enrolled across three classes.
Mr Power said that, though the new site would be better able to facilitate expansion than the current one, the plans to move the school were on safety grounds rather than part of a growth strategy.
Councillors expressed their support for the plans at the meeting and Mayor of Ottery Councillor Glyn Dobson said it was a “brilliant idea” to move the school from its current location.
Councillor Roger Giles, a former member of the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, said he was “pleased” the school was taking measures to protect its pupils and staff from the threat of flooding.
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