Work starts on roundabout for new school site

Work on the roundabout on Willowburn  Avenue
Work on the roundabout on Willowburn Avenue

Construction of an access road and roundabout for the new high school in Alnwick has started, ahead of plans for the building itself being submitted.

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

The project will 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, Argos and Homebase, as well as expanding the size of the current junction.

Earlier this year, accidents at the roundabout sparked intense debate on the Gazette’s Facebook page with some branding the three-pronged junction confusing, while others criticised motorists who couldn’t use the island properly.

Whichever the case, the new roundabout, with four exits, may well prove to solve some of the current issues.

The planning application for the new school is due to be submitted to the county council by the end of this month, ahead of a hoped-for start date on site between December this year and February 2015.

A public consultation was held earlier this month.

earlier this month, the Gazette reported that groundworks have started at the Alnwick Aldi site, but as yet no dates for starting the construction have been set. The plot on South Road, which housed the former Willis garage, is being worked on by contractors, for Northumberland Estates.

An Estates spokeswoman said: “The work going on at the moment is just the Estates’ contractors preparing the ground for the developers ie. removing the old petrol storage tanks etc. The Estates wanted to oversee this bit of the process themselves to make sure there are no contamination issues.”