York blueprint reveals schools demand

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

NEW schools may be needed in York or major investment ploughed into existing sites by 2018 to meet demand for places, a 15-year blueprint for the city’s future has revealed.

A draft of City of York Council’s Local Plan, outlining how York will be developed between 2015 and 2030 and set to go out for public consultation next month.

It has a target of building almost 22,000 new homes, many on Green Belt land.

The document, which will be discussed by the authority’s cabinet later this month, has also said rising demand for pre-school and primary school places is proving difficult for the council to accommodate “in certain areas”, and while some secondary schools currently have surplus places, this is expected to change in a few years.

It said schemes to address “substantial” oversubscription of primary school places in the South Bank area were under way, but added: “More investment, and possibly new school sites, will likely be needed over the next five years to help meet rising demand in the Leeman Road/Holgate, Clifton and Haxby/Wigginton areas.

“Local demand for some of the most popular community secondary schools is rising. Capital investment will be likely to be needed at these schools over the next five years to enable them to meet demand in future.”

The draft plan said increased demand for secondary schools may not align with areas which have surplus space, and the free nursery-place entitlement for two-year-olds from September is expected to pile pressure on early years education.

Coun Janet Looker, cabinet member for education, children and young people, said: “Inevitably, given our plans for significant numbers of new family homes, there is the need to look at school places to ensure we have the right provision in place going forward.

“Just as importantly, the Local Plan process also presents the opportunity to address the existing issue of pressure on school places, as well as the pressure we know will exist in the years ahead based on previous years’ birth rates. We will do this by looking at the overall picture across the city to ensure capacity is created where it is needed.”

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