Maldon: Plume Academy's Financial Director confirms school set to make £2.75 million from sale of land at Mundon Road, 'to help fund expansion'

By Ben Shahrabi

23rd Oct 2022 | Local News

An aerial masterplan of the proposed development at Mundon Road. (Images: Essex Housing and Plume Academy)
An aerial masterplan of the proposed development at Mundon Road. (Images: Essex Housing and Plume Academy)

On Wednesday (October 19), Plume Academy's Finance Director set out the school's reasons for selling its portion of the field at Mundon Road, Maldon, for development.

Speaking in an online public meeting, Richard Scott, Director of Finance & Premises at Plume Academy, said that over £13 million was needed to fund the school's programme of expansion.

He said this was necessary to meet the increase of pupils from new housing developments in the town.

As part of the pre-application consultation, Essex Housing has held two events in which the company set out its emerging proposals for development at Primrose Meadow.

The field is owned in part by Essex County Council as well as Plume Academy.

Mr Scott confirmed that £11.1 million had been allocated to the school by Essex County Council, but a further £2.75 million was needed to complete the expansion programme.

He told guests this would come from the sale of Plume Academy's portion of Primrose Meadow.

However, Mr Scott added: "The sale of the land to Essex Housing is dependent on planning permission being granted."

The Finance Director said the sale is to ensure enough funding is available for expansion.

3,500 homes are currently proposed to be built in and around Maldon, which will likely lead to an increase in demand at the Academy.

Maldon District Council's latest Local Development Plan (2014-2029) was approved by Secretary of State Sajid Javid in 2017.

In the Planning Inspectorate's Final Report, it is confirmed that the Plume School did "not have sufficient capacity to accommodate the increase in pupils likely to result from the new housing developments planned".

It is noted that the Academy seemed to rely on additional funding from development on the Primrose Meadow site to 'improve facilities' as part of the expansion works.

However, the report went on to say: "On the evidence, I am satisfied that the Plume can provide, and is committed to providing, the places needed to support the level of housing growth set out in Policy S2.

"The question of improving school facilities is a different matter, and is not critical to the soundness of the Plan."

On Wednesday, Mr Scott said "building costs have increased dramatically" over the last couple of years, warranting the sale of the land.

In a separate scheme, Mr Scott confirmed the Academy was in the process of drafting final plans for expansion at both campuses.

Planning applications for that are set to be received by Maldon District Council in December this year, or January next year.

A spokesperson for Plume Academy has been approached for comment.

Read the full report the Maldon District Council website.

Read more:

Maldon: Plume Academy defends sale of land at Primrose Meadow - Essex County Councillor says local infrastructure should be funded by developers

EXCLUSIVE: Maldon's Primrose Meadow development consultation to begin this month - neighbours come together in bid to save it

IN PICTURES: Maldon Beavers group supports campaign to 'Save Primrose Meadow', as children muck in to help out with cleaning effort

     

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