Chiltern Academy: Final plans submitted for new Luton free school
Finalised plans have been submitted for a new secondary school which is designed to solve a significant place shortage in central Luton.
In late February the Chiltern Learning Trust announced that land at The Brache, Gipsy Lane, had been identified as the preferred site for a free school project that has been approved by the Department for Education.
Luton Borough Council has now effectively submitted a planning application to itself for the Chiltern Academy, which is pencilled in to open in September 2018.
A document included in the application reports that of the residents that were consulted over the plans, around 31% were supportive but 18% objected to the location.
Most raised concerns over increased traffic and congestion in an area that is already getting a new primary school (Moorlands).
Others questioned the suitability of the site, which sits directly opposite Luton Retail Park.
Despite the concerns LBC has said that there is a “clear educational need” for the academy.
A planning statement adds: “With extensive population growth locally, predominantly since 2007, the number of school placeshas grown significantly and now there is a greater demand forsecondary school places following the creation of over 4,500 primary school places in recent years.
“Currently it is forecast that the number of secondary aged pupils is set to grow by 25 percent and this will require an additional 2,100 places between now and 2020.”
Chiltern Learning Trust CEO Adrian Rogers told the Luton News: “These are exciting times and we are very pleased to see that the Chiltern Academy is progressing so well.
“The new academy will provide much needed school places within the town and a very high standard of education.”
Mr Rogers added: “We are very much looking forward to the September 2018 opening.”