Council set to opt for Wisbech for �2.5 million pupil referral unit for Fenland

COUNTY council leader Nick Clarke has honoured the pledge to ensure Fenland completes its six school BSF programme with a �2.5 million replacement pupil referral unit.

COUNTY council leader Nick Clarke has honoured the pledge to ensure Fenland completes its six school BSF programme with a �2.5 million replacement pupil referral unit.

He has put plans for a new school onto the Cabinet agenda for later this month after officials found a site in Somers Road, Wisbech, where it can be built.

The council looks to be winning a race against the clock to use BSF funds while they are still available. The hunt for a new site has looked at options in both March and Wisbech.

Alan Kippax, BSF project director, described the Fenland Junction Pupil Referral Unit in Station Road, March, as “time expired and not fit for purpose.”


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He said: “The BSF outline business case proposed relocating the unit to a new, purpose-built facility in Wisbech or March” he says in a report o Cabinet. “Redevelopment of the existing building is not a realistic option.

The Fenland Junction PRU has recently closed and re-opened on September 1 as part of The County School, which provides support for Key Stage 4 students with 35 places in Fenland, 45 places in Cambridge and 40 places in Huntingdon.

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Mr Kippax wants to get the scheme for Fenland moving quickly and hopes for a planning application to be submitted before the end of the year.

Alternative sites were looked at but either are not affordable, conflict with, for example, business or commercial uses or are in predominantly industrial or residential areas.

“Of several sites considered in Wisbech and March, the site with the most potential to bring forward quickly is land in the county council’s ownership at Somers Road in Wisbech,” says Mr Kippax.

The site has empty for years and is owned by the county council so a quick decision can be achieved. The only downside, he says, is the council having to forego a possible sale of the site.

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