Ponteland schools and leisure project kicks off

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A multi-million pound scheme to provide state-of-the-art schools and leisure facilities in Ponteland has been endorsed by the council’s new cabinet.

Although the initial planning application had been withdrawn, the council announced this would soon be replaced by a new application for a high and primary school as well as a new leisure centre.

Coun Wayne Daley, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We want to be very clear that this scheme is going ahead.

“We considered issues raised by the local community, reviewed the previous plans and looked at options.

“We are now clear that moving straight to a full planning application will allow us to not only provide fantastic new schools and the best possible education outcomes for young people, but also be in the best long-term interests of the whole community.”

Development is set to take place on the site of the current leisure centre, and reorganisation is already underway for Ponteland schools in September.

The first schools are set to become primaries and Richard Coates CE School will lower its age range to include primary stages.

Ponteland High School will also extend its age range to 11 to 18 as of September 2019, when the school will receive its first cohort of year 7 and 8 pupils.

Submitting a full planning proposal for the high school at this stage will allow the construction of new school buildings to take place over the shortest possible timeline, with minimal requirement for any temporary buildings.

Coun Daley added: “We will be working with all schools, parents and the local community to make sure that any disruption for students and families is kept to an absolute minimum.

“We can understand that people may be confused about the planning position, but this move to submit a full planning application as soon as possible will allow us to progress quickly, and get new facilities constructed and up and running in the shortest possible timescale.”