‘We want our new school’

Ribyn Boyer and Oliver Buchan-Papwortch, pupils at The Priory Ruskin Academy, with a model of the new school building. 443C
Ribyn Boyer and Oliver Buchan-Papwortch, pupils at The Priory Ruskin Academy, with a model of the new school building. 443C
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CONCERNED pupils who fear their dream of a new £13.5 million school could be crushed took matters into their own hands this week, delivering a 900-name petition to county council chiefs.

The planning application for the new school building for Priory Ruskin Academy, which has already been deferred three times, is up before Lincolnshire County Council again on Monday.

Kids from Priory Academy going to Lincoln with patition. 443C

Kids from Priory Academy going to Lincoln with patition. 443C

Pupils from the academy hope Monday will be a day of celebration as their new school finally gets the green light.

Priory Ruskin pupil Lewis Webster travelled to Lincoln with other members of the school council to deliver the petition in support of the project.

He said the new building is something “every student is looking forward to”.

Lewis added: “The trip today really built everything up and it’s something we’ve all been looking forward to. If it was rejected now we would all feel let down.

“The longer the planning process is drawn out, the greater the fear at the school that funding - in such tough economic times - will be withdrawn.”

But Assistant headteacher Mrs Cipieres hopes it will not come to that.

She said: “The money is there and has been allocated. We have had no indication it could be withdrawn so we are trying not to think about that.

“But some of the funding had already been taken away. It was originally £18 million and is now £13 million.”

The delay in giving the project the green light is mainly due to concerns over access to the site during construction.

Councillor for St Wulfram’s, Ray Wootten, said everyone wants the new school building but there are concerns from people living in the area who could face “18 months of traffic hell”.

He added: “I hope the application gets approved in some form or another but the key is that residents views are taken into account.”

The county council’s planning and regulation committee will decide whether to approve, reject or defer the plans at their meeting at 10.30am on Monday morning at the Council Chambers in Newland, Lincoln. The meeting is open to the public.

If approved, the school hopes work could start immediately.

Mrs Cipieres said: “My understanding is that as soon as permission is granted, work could start the very next day. So we could start seeing diggers on Tuesday, which would be brilliant - going away for the holidays knowing work has started.

“The students have seen the plans and seen the model.

“To keep having it put back is very disappointing for them.”