New primary school beckons for Dunmow

Dunmow High Street

Dunmow High Street - Credit: Archant

A new primary school for Great Dunmow has been given the go-ahead.

The school on the Smith’s Farm development in the town will be a free school or academy and have 210 places.

There will also be 26 places for pre-school children in an early years centre on the same site.

The school will cost £6.2million to build. Of that, £2.9m will be paid for by the developer Crest Nicholson, which is building a mixed range of 300 homes at Smith’s Farm, off Chelmsford Road.

The site will also have a secondary school, another primary school, sports facilities, a medical centre and an extra care centre for the elderly.

The school, scheduled to open in September 2018, will grow in phases and eventually have 30 pupils, or one class, in a year.

Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, said: “The demand for primary school places in the Great Dunmow area is growing fast.

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“These plans will help us meet that rising demand and I am very pleased they have been given approval.

“As a council, we are committed are planning to spend about £200m over the next five years on creating new school places across Essex.”

Councillor Barrie Easter, the Mayor of Dunmow, told the Broadcast: “This is good for the town because it will provide more choice. I always think choice and competition are good for everybody. I also know that there has been great pressure on school places and some children in the past have had to attend schools outside the town.”

The primary schools already serving the area include Great Dunmow Primary School, Dunmow St Mary’s and Great Easton.

The fine details of the school and travel plans for pupils going to it are yet to be drawn up. The council is also inviting contenders for running the school to come forward.