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Council stops work on new Theale Primary School project

But there is still a chance that urgently needed new school can go ahead

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886633

Application for Theale Primary School replacement submitted

WORK to build to a new primary school in Theale has been stopped. 

West Berkshire Council announced this morning (Wednesday) that it would be pulling the plug on the £8.2m scheme after Theale Parish Council failed to meet yesterday's critical legal deadline.

But there is still time for the urgently needed new school to go ahead. 

In January the council said that it would cancel the project after negotiations with Theale Parish Council stalled.

The parish council has raised safety concerns about West Berkshire's Council's chosen site for the school at the North Street playing fields, which the parish leases from the Englefield Estate. 

The decision was subsequently postponed to allow Theale Parish Council to conduct a parish poll on whether or not to release the land.

Villagers voted in favour of releasing the land for the new school by 499 votes (53 per cent) to 440 against. 

West Berkshire Council gave Theale Parish Council until the end of July to sign the legal documents which would allow the new school to go ahead.

However, no agreement was reached and the council will now look to expand schools in other areas.  

But as the council's plan B cannot begin until the start of the new school term and following residents asking for the parish council to be granted more time, West Berkshire Council has given until Friday, September 14 to surrender its lease, if that is what it decides to do.

This will also allow it time to consider a revised offer made last week by the Englefield Estate.

For more see tomorrow's Newbury Weekly News.

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