New school project on track with bid for access road

A plan showing the proposed site of the new housing at Greensfield.
A plan showing the proposed site of the new housing at Greensfield.

The scheme to build a new high school in Alnwick appears to be on track following the submission of a planning application for site access.

Northumberland County Council has applied for permission for a roundabout on Willowburn Avenue and road access to a proposed school.

It would essentially involve creating a fourth spur up to the Greensfield site from the existing roundabout, which leads to Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre and the retail complex featuring Sainsbury’s and Homebase.

In March last year, the Gazette reported that delays in the procurement process meant that Alnwick’s new high school would open a year later than planned, at Easter 2016 at the earliest.

Following the announcment that the Duchess’s Community High School had been selected for the Government’s Priority School Building Programme in 2012, a target date for the start of construction had originally been set for this year, with doors opening in September 2015, but funding issues led to a delay for all the schools in the programme in the North East.

But there was more positive news in October last year when the Education Funding Agency shortlisted Miller Construction, Laing O’Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine to tender to build 12 new schools across the region in a contract thought to be worth in the region of £94million.

The successful bidder is due to be announced around Easter time.