New Corby secondary school given green light

The new school will serve families from across the town and surrounding villages

Friday, 17th September 2021, 7:00 am
The new school will fill an identified shortage of 200 school places per year in Corby

Weldon Village Academy has been given the green-light by council planners.

The new school on a rural site in Oundle Road, to the east of Weldon, has been granted planning permission by officers at North Northamptonshire Council. It is expected to be ready in time for the 2023/24 school year.

The school will serve students from across the whole of Corby and surrounding villages. There is expected to be a deficit of 203 places across the area by this time next year. Many pupils are currently travelling to schools in Oundle, Uppingham and Kettering from Corby.

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The entrance to the building in Oundle Road

Weldon Village Academy will be the first school to open in the fast-growing town since Corby Technical School opened its doors in 2012. It will be run by Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) which operates more than 20 academies across the east of England including The Ferrers School in Higham Ferrers.

The site in Oundle Road was considered the most suitable out of eleven considered across the town.

A new roundabout will be built to improve access to the site

The building will have three storeys, a four-court indoor sports hall, a multi-use games area, two-full sized football pitches and three five-a-side pitches.

The new school will be run by CMAT

No objections were made although several people have contacted the Northants Telegraph to air concerns that the application was not easily found through the normal chanels on the council's website, and is not shown on the map view of the planning portal.

The plans were submitted by Birmingham-based consultants Define, with a statutory planning fee of £37,600 to NNC paid to NNC, a price set by central government and standardised across the country.

Several concerns were raised over access and the surrounding highways including by the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning and Delivery Unit, which said: "While it is considered this scheme would satisfy functional and operational requirements, we believe a significant opportunity has been missed in regard to delivering the highest quality development for the wider community at Weldon Park and the school will be only largely accessible by vehicle."

The developer held its own public consultation, run between December 2020 and January 2021, via the Cambridge Meridian Academy Trust (CMAT) website which it publicised via flyers to the nearest 400 residential properties and businesses.

The planning statement submitted to NNC says 15 consultation responses were received with 14 of those from members of the public and one from a member of Weldon Parish Council. Although highways concerns were raised, the overall response was positive.

You can view the plans here although responses are now closed.