Proposed STEM Academy plans have their first public viewing

A 3-D image of the proposed front of the new STEM Academy on the Westley Middle School Campus
A 3-D image of the proposed front of the new STEM Academy on the Westley Middle School Campus
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A public consultation took place at Westley Middle School in Bury St Edmunds this week for the proposed plans for its new academy.

The STEM Academy – which stands for science, technology, engineering and maths – would be part of the Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust.

Vicky Neale, lead head of the trust, said: “This academy gives students an alternative way of education for our 13 to 19 year olds,

“We have had huge support from a range of employers and this will give a chance for our students to get opportunities for companies to mentor them in this new way of learning.”

If planning permission is granted, work will start from April 2018 with completion estimated to be in May 2019.

Some of the businesses supporting the school include Bosch, British Sugar, Marshall, Microsoft, BT, EDF Energy, Rolls-Royce, Treatt and Newmarket Equine Hospital.

People viewing the plans during the consultation included Mr and Mrs Ordish, from Westley Road, who thought the building would be on their side of the school’s playing field but found that was not the case and liked what they saw.

Mr Ordish said: “I think it is a good idea to have an academy like this as some children at that age do not know if they want to be a brick layer or a rocket scientist.”

Others were unhappy with the plans including Mr and Mrs Finch, who have lived in Oliver Road for more than 40 years and whose children and grandchildren went to Westley Middle, but would now have their garden backing onto the new build.

Mr Finch said: “It will affect us a lot, we will lose our view and the windows of the school will be on our side so we will lose our privacy in our own garden,

“We just did not realise how big the plans were and this has left us tonight with more questions than answers,”

Kier Construction Ltd , the chosen contractors, say they have already taken some of the issues in hand such as lack of parking by adding 54 spaces to the site and the building being too close to fellow residents by moving the building back by 12 metres and lowering it by two metres.

If the planning application is finalised and submitted this month, the planning authority will also consult neighbours for a second opportunity to comment.

The plans can still be viewed until next week by going to