Plans for 600-pupil school in Dorchester unveiled

Plans for 600-pupil school in Dorchester unveiled

IN THE PIPELINE: The new school will replace Damers First School

EXCELLENT NEWS: Poundbury resident Margaret Morrissey

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

LONG-AWAITED plans for a new 600-pupil school in Dorchester have been unveiled.

An agreement for the school in Poundbury has been reached between Dorset County Council and Duchy of Cornwall, with Simon Conibear from the Duchy claiming the school will be ‘great for Dorchester’.

Plans for the school on Prince Charles’s model development have been in the pipeline since 2005 and it will replace the existing Damers First School in the county town.

The Duchy’s Dorchester estate director Mr Conibear said the new school would accommodate 600 pupils and serve the west side of the county town as well as Poundbury itself.

It will be situated on land overlooking the Great Field to the north of Peverell Avenue East.

Mr Conibear said: “I think it will be great for Dorchester and it will be an opportunity to bring a facility into Poundbury which will be shared with the whole of the west of Dorchester.

“Two thirds of the pupils will probably come from the west side of Dorchester and one third from Poundbury and the integration between the two is very important from our point of view.”

He added: “We have been working on this facility for several years and we are very pleased the county council has now resolved to move forward.”

Mr Conibear said that the addition of the first school would also help make Poundbury a more attractive place for people with young children to set up home, with more and more younger families already taking up residence in the development.

He said: “There has been an increasing proportion of younger families moving into Poundbury and we think this will be a great facility for them.”

A spokesman for Dorset County Council confirmed that an agreement had been reached for the relocation of the existing Damers School to a new school at Poundbury.

She added that the new school was currently in the design phase and negotiations were continuing between the council and the landowner, the Duchy of Cornwall.

Poundbury resident Margaret Morrissey, a campaigner with the national group Parents Outloud, said it was ‘excellent news’ that progress was finally being made on the new school and she said she now wanted the plans to move forward at a decent pace.

She said: “My initial reaction is it’s nothing short of a miracle and I hope that having got this far we are now going to see a school there within the next two years because it’s so important for the youngsters in Dorchester.

“Everywhere schools are getting full up and there are lots of children up here that are having to trek into town and can’t find school places.”

A county council spokesman said the authority expected to submit a planning application later in the year and would hold a public event prior to submitting the plans for people to find out more about what is being proposed.

Comments (9)

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7:53am Tue 4 Mar 14

MaidofDorset says...

Dare I mention the planners thinking of bus access and sufficient car parking as not all staff and families will be living within walking distance? Of cycle friendly routes into the school, and places to secure your bike?

Are the planners thinking ahead concerning the continued population expansion of the catchment area of Dorchester Hospital and the opportunity to extend the Hospital rather than flog the site off for housing?
Dare I mention the planners thinking of bus access and sufficient car parking as not all staff and families will be living within walking distance? Of cycle friendly routes into the school, and places to secure your bike? Are the planners thinking ahead concerning the continued population expansion of the catchment area of Dorchester Hospital and the opportunity to extend the Hospital rather than flog the site off for housing? MaidofDorset
  • Score: 13

11:05am Tue 4 Mar 14

morrisseyobe says...

I agree with the above comment but it is great news for our children and a much needed new school long wait but it will be worth it, now to use the space left well pleas. hospital parking so people can go to the hospital with less stress and also employees parking please.
I agree with the above comment but it is great news for our children and a much needed new school long wait but it will be worth it, now to use the space left well pleas. hospital parking so people can go to the hospital with less stress and also employees parking please. morrisseyobe
  • Score: 7

12:25pm Tue 4 Mar 14

IslandJim1 says...

Why have the Echo used a photo of the C G Fry House builder's billboard for a front page storey about a new school on Poundbury, when there is no mention of the company being involved in the project. Big bit of free advertisement and very lazy journalism!
Why have the Echo used a photo of the C G Fry House builder's billboard for a front page storey about a new school on Poundbury, when there is no mention of the company being involved in the project. Big bit of free advertisement and very lazy journalism! IslandJim1
  • Score: -1

1:32pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Dorset Guy1 says...

MaidofDorset wrote:
Dare I mention the planners thinking of bus access and sufficient car parking as not all staff and families will be living within walking distance? Of cycle friendly routes into the school, and places to secure your bike?

Are the planners thinking ahead concerning the continued population expansion of the catchment area of Dorchester Hospital and the opportunity to extend the Hospital rather than flog the site off for housing?
I think you had better read the story again as this is not being rebuilt on Damers site but on Poundbury
[quote][p][bold]MaidofDorset[/bold] wrote: Dare I mention the planners thinking of bus access and sufficient car parking as not all staff and families will be living within walking distance? Of cycle friendly routes into the school, and places to secure your bike? Are the planners thinking ahead concerning the continued population expansion of the catchment area of Dorchester Hospital and the opportunity to extend the Hospital rather than flog the site off for housing?[/p][/quote]I think you had better read the story again as this is not being rebuilt on Damers site but on Poundbury Dorset Guy1
  • Score: -7

6:01pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Equilibrium says...

I think you misread the first post Dorset Guy.
I think you misread the first post Dorset Guy. Equilibrium
  • Score: 4

7:18pm Tue 4 Mar 14

cosmick says...

Lets hope the first language at the new school will be English.
Lets hope the first language at the new school will be English. cosmick
  • Score: 4

9:29pm Tue 4 Mar 14

JamesYoung says...

So the school is increasing in capacity from the current facility by 200 pupils. The population of Dorchester was 16,171 in 2001, rising to 18280 by 2010 (a rise of 2100). With Poundbury still less than 50% built, and discussions about a large housing estate in Came View, this doesn't seem like a particularly future-proofed capacity estimate.
So the school is increasing in capacity from the current facility by 200 pupils. The population of Dorchester was 16,171 in 2001, rising to 18280 by 2010 (a rise of 2100). With Poundbury still less than 50% built, and discussions about a large housing estate in Came View, this doesn't seem like a particularly future-proofed capacity estimate. JamesYoung
  • Score: 4

10:13pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Noidear says...

Good idea. But get it right for once, I just hope they don't waste our money on someone's ego boosting trip.lets have a practical building, and not a Las Vegas folly.
Good idea. But get it right for once, I just hope they don't waste our money on someone's ego boosting trip.lets have a practical building, and not a Las Vegas folly. Noidear
  • Score: 4

11:13am Wed 5 Mar 14

it's me says...

Good news but as the population grows in Dorchester why not keep Damers open as it has been a really good school for years
Good news but as the population grows in Dorchester why not keep Damers open as it has been a really good school for years it's me
  • Score: 1

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