Developers to pay £3.5m for schools

kna  Knaresborough aerial. King James's School.  091109M2z.
kna Knaresborough aerial. King James's School. 091109M2z.

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) have calculated they will require more than £3.5million in contributions for school places if plans for 600 houses at Manse Farm go ahead.

The council have stated that developer, Commercial Estates Projects (CEP) would need to contribute £2,039,400 towards primary school places and £1,582,854 towards secondary places, in addition to leaving land for a potential new primary school at the site.

Many Knaresborough residents, including town councillor Andrew Willoughby have raised concerns over the lack of school spaces in Knaresborough.

Coun Willoughby said: “The facilities in Knaresborough are becoming full, especially schools.”

NYCC estimate Knaresborough will require 78 new secondary school places and 150 primary school places if the 600 homes are built.

A spokesperson for NYCC said: “As the proposed Manse Farm development is wholly within the catchment of St John’s CE Primary School, the council would consider a range of options.

“These could include the creation of a new primary school, the creation of a satellite of an existing school, or expanding an existing school.”

Although the council want to ensure the availability of a site for a potential new primary school if required, they themselves would have to meet the shortfall in the cost of building the school.

The spokesperson said:“As a new primary school can cost up to £6m to build, any shortfall would have to be met from the county council’s ‘basic need’ funding it receives from central government for additional school places.”

This funding has been cut by 20 per cent this year.

Steve McBurney from CEP said: “A primary school will be delivered on the Manse Farm site as part of our proposed development and we have therefore applied for planning permission for the new school as part of this application.

“The way in which the new school is delivered and funded by CEP is the subject of further on-going discussions with the local education authority.”