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Town school plan in hands of adjudicator

PUBLISHED: 21:45 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 05 July 2010

A SCHOOLS adjudicator appointed to consider a council's plan to build a new high school in Lowestoft has asked for views from parents, residents and teachers.

A SCHOOLS adjudicator appointed to consider a council's plan to build a new high school in Lowestoft has asked for views from parents, residents and teachers.

Canon Richard Lindley has been asked to judge whether Suffolk County Council's proposals to erect a school on the existing Pakefield Middle School site, should be rejected or approved.

Campaigners ERASE (Enraged Residents Against School Expansion), made up of local residents and parents, are already mounting a case against the move, with concerns over the influx of extra pupils, traffic and construction development.

Canon Lindley held the first meeting on Tuesday in the church hall of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Saxon Road to hear the views of ERASE and the council.

During their presentation ERASE used a short film to illustrate traffic in the town at quiet times and the increase when school starts and finishes.

The following afternoon, hundreds of teachers, governors and parents attended Pakefield Middle School in Kilbourn Road.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said one of the roles of a schools adjudicator is to resolve disputes where a local authority has an interest in a proposal and therefore disqualified from being the decision maker.

The types of changes they can be involved in are the opening of a new school, the closing an existing one, or making a significant change to an existing school.

He said: “As the county council entered the competition to run the proposed new high school in the south of the town the schools adjudicator has to decide whether to approve that proposal and all other related proposals. All of the views received by the county council during the six week representation period along with the published proposals have been sent to the schools adjudicator for his consideration.

“The adjudicator can either accept the proposals, possibly with conditions or minor modifications or reject them. If the proposals are rejected the county council would consider the adjudicator's conclusion before deciding on the next steps. The adjudicator does not offer alternative proposals.”

Canon Lindley is expected to report back with his findings shortly.

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