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Paston College £20m plan for the future

PUBLISHED: 09:37 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 09:09 13 July 2010

A £20m scheme to relocate a popular north Norfolk sixth form college to a new state-of-the-art facility has been submitted to planners.

The project to move Paston College from its current two linked sites to a three storey eco-building on Station Road, North Walsham, was revealed to the public earlier this year.

A £20m scheme to relocate a popular north Norfolk sixth form college to a new state-of-the-art facility has been submitted to planners.

The project to move Paston College from its current two linked sites to a three-storey eco-building on Station Road, North Walsham, was revealed to the public earlier this year.

Now, after listening to local concerns and having altered the plans accordingly, detailed proposals have been lodged with the planning department at North Norfolk District Council.

The plans differ slightly from those shown at a public exhibition in June but architect, and ex Paston pupil, John Thornberry, said the building would still cater for up to 1,000 pupils and was still the "same intrinsic design" as that put on public display earlier in the year.

Peter Mayne, principal of Paston College, said: "Extensive consultation has taken place with the community.

"As a result of comments from the public and other consultees the design proposals have been revised to set the new college building a further 10 metres back into the site from the frontage to Station Road.

"Following consultation with Sport England, the sports facilities have been increased to provide a larger four court sports hall and increased changing rooms to facilitate greater use of these."

Mr Mayne said the new building would enable Paston to continue to be a leading sixth form college in North Walsham serving both the town and north Norfolk.

He continued: "The new college will provide excellent educational facilities and resources to reflect current and future curriculum developments and will allow for the expected student growth in north Norfolk."

If planning permission is granted, building work is planned to commence in 2010 and the college will open in time for the start of the September term in 2011.

It will offer a very modern educational experience and feature a studio theatre, IT suites, specialist classrooms and laboratories as well as solar hot water panels and a host of other eco features.

When the original plans were revealed in June they were received with enthusiasm by many in the local community, though some did voice concern about the concentration of traffic in the vicinity of the school.

However, at a public meeting a month later the proposals met with further opposition, with some townsfolk arguing the relocation idea would kill off much of North Walsham's shopping trade and sever the

college's historic links with Lord Nelson.

Paston College hosted a visit on Friday from members of the 1805 Club, who embarked on a weekend of celebration of the 250th anniversary of Nelson's birth.

Nelson was a pupil at Paston School from 1768 to 1771 and joined the Navy directly from Paston.

Members of the 1805 Club visited Paston's Nelson Room - the schoolroom where the young Horatio learned under the guidance of headteacher "Classic Jones".


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