Academy plans get thumbs up

An artist impression's of Thetford Academy's new single site

An artist impression's of Thetford Academy's new single site

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PLANS for Thetford Academy’s single site have been approved by council members.

Norfolk County Council approved plans for a new three-storey building to house 1,400 students at the Academy’s North campus on Croxton Road last Thursday.

Principal Cathy Spillane said the new facilities, which are scheduled for completion by September 2013, would be of great benefit to pupils and residents alike.

“We are really pleased to have secured the planning permission for this new building. It will provide 21st century education for the young people of Thetford.

“In addition, it will provide a great asset to the wider community with many new facilities they will be able to share with us.”

Construction will be carried out by Balfour Beatty, with designs intended to be ‘sympathetic’ to nearby woodland.

It will feature a new sports hall with space for fitness, dance and drama, with a multi-use games area outside.

Inside, a central atrium will be overlooked by a library and specialist areas for design and technology, science and music. An integrated IT system will be available across the site.

David Lawrence, principal at Easton College, the lead sponsor, said: “It has been a long process but now we are so much closer to the one site for the Academy and the provision of a wonderful new learning environment which will benefit students and staff for many years to come in Thetford.”

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County Council, said they were ‘excited’ about the news.

“We believe it has the capacity to not only transform educational opportunities for young people in this area but also enrich the lives of those loving in the wider community,” she said

Work is expected to begin in March once final approval has been granted by Partnership for Schools.