Thursday, 23 November 2017

New primary school site reconsidered

THE new Heights Primary School in Caversham may not be built at a controversial site after all.

The Education Funding Agency has bought land at Highridge, a former bungalow in Upper Warren Avenue, after considering many other potential locations in the area.

However, following protests by nearby residents, the agency has agreed to reconsider other sites, including Bugs Bottom, Mapledurham playing fields and Caversham Tennis Club.

Reading East MP Rob Wilson said: “I have continued to work hard to find a solution to this seemingly intractable problem and have had a series of conversations with the project leaders at the agency.

“The community proposed locations are being looked at seriously. This is not a public relations exercise, as some have suggested.

“Indeed, the agency has widened its research to include other as yet unspecified sites, either suggested by the public, new sites that have become available or through looking again at other credible options.”

The agency expects to complete this work by the end of the month and in the meantime has delayed the appointment of architects and contractors to redevelop the Highridge site for eight weeks.

Mr Wilson added: “As I have stressed to local residents, there is no guarantee of success. This is, however, a step in the right direction.”

The new school, which opened at a temporary site in Gosbrook Road this week, is due to open at the permanent site in September 2016.

Critics claim Highridge is not suitable because of road safety issues.

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