‘Very few schools’ will not see pupil numbers rise – council

Bloor Homes housing development off Arnolds Way, Yatton.

Bloor Homes housing development off Arnolds Way, Yatton. - Credit: Archant

Plans to build a school on the edge of Yatton have moved forward, with North Somerset Council conceding almost every school in the district will need to take on extra pupils due to the rate of housing proposed over the next 20 years.

Yatton has a junior and infant school off the High Street, but it cannot be made larger and is close to capacity.

With more than 500 homes in the pipeline for the village, the council announced at the end of last year steps were being taken to build a primary school at North End.

This week, the authority’s officers were told to notify the Department for Education of its intention to have the school operational by September 2020 and to seek a provider to run it.

Initial proposals are for a 210-place school or academy, with the option to double the capacity as required and when more homes are build.

The school would sit off Arnolds Way within Bloor Homes’ two-phase development off the roundabout.

Further housing schemes for Yatton include Hallam Land Management’s approved 170-home scheme in the same area, while Titan Ladders’ Mendip Road site could also soon be converted into homes.

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Other developments in the pipeline include 69 homes off Moor Road, the eventual demolition of Oxford Instruments’ base and approximately 100 at Rectory Farm, off Chescombe Road.

The council has admitted doing nothing to increase school places in Yatton is not an option.

In a report published this week, it said: “Projections show there is insufficient capacity in North End Yatton to meet the requirements of the North End developments without the creation of new primary school places.

“With the increases in new homes across North Somerset there are very few schools that will not be affected by the need to accommodate extra pupils over time.”

The Yatton Federated Schools, which encompasses both junior and infant schools, can accommodate up to 630 pupils.

The council says it is not its policy to make primary schools offer more places than 630.

It adds: “If the new homes are not forthcoming and demand is reduced, it is hoped places will be found for pupils at other local schools in and outside of Yatton.”