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Blueprints for new Abbeygate Sixth Form set to be scrutinised

How the proposed Abbeygate Sixth Form, off Beetons Way, could look
How the proposed Abbeygate Sixth Form, off Beetons Way, could look

A new dedicated sixth form in Bury St Edmunds is a step closer, after plans were submitted for approval.

If St Edmundsbury Borough Council planners give the green light, Abbeygate Sixth Form College would be built on part of a playing field at King Edward VI School, off Beetons Way, and ultimately accommodate up to 1,700 students aged 16-19.

The 12,948sqm college should be operational by September 2019 and will be operated by Suffolk Academies Trust, a collaboration between West Suffolk College and One Suffolk.

The four-storey building would include teaching and performing arts spaces, sports hall, courtyard, multi-purpose hall seating up to 350 people, ICT spaces, practical spaces for art and design work and display, science laboratories, group rooms and therapy spaces, dining areas, a learning resource centre and study spaces. Sports facilities would also include a sports field accommodating cricket and football pitches.

Access would be from Beetons Way, with a new junction off the existing mini-roundabout proposed.

A 263-space car park for staff and some students would be built on the lower field.

The Bury St Edmunds Society said it welcomed the plans, but had concerns about parking provision.

“Already, there are problems with parking local to this site. We need to be reassured that the current situation will not be exacerbated by this new facility,” said its comment to planners.

The application is set to be decided by July 4.

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