WARWICK Gates is set to get a primary school almost two decades after it was built.
Calls have been made for a school within a safe walking distance of the housing estate since it was established in the late 1990s.
It has meant parents taking their children to primary schools in neighbouring Whitnash, and in recent years – with
the number of places in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 having significantly dwindled in Whitnash – to schools in south Leamington.
But the long-standing issue could finally be resolved after education chiefs this week gave the green light to plans for a new two-form entry primary school on Warwick Gates.
Situated opposite Macbeth Approach and adjacent to the roundabout on Heathcote Lane, the school will be built in two phases and is expected to be complete in time for the start of the 2017 school year.
Initially able to cater for 26 nursery children and 210 pupils, Heathcote Primary School – as it will be known – will eventually have space for 420 pupils.
Made up of 16 classrooms with 28 full-time staff and 20 part-time staff, Heathcote will be a free school – meaning it is run independently and will not be controlled by the county council. Funding will come from government as it does for other schools.
The school forms part of wider plans for 785 homes between Europa Way and Harbury Lane, which were granted permission in May 2015.
Construction work on the homes is already under way while the area is also subject to a number of other developments.
In April 2015, permission was given for some 200 homes further along Harbury Lane on the other side of Heathcote Park while two months later, a 220-home scheme between Harbury Lane and Heathcote Lane was also given the go-ahead.
Whitnash district councillor Judy Falp welcomed the new school. She told The Observer: “Back when Warwick Gates was first built, there was sufficient capacity in nearby schools so there was no need for another primary school in the area.
“In recent years, however, the situation has changed somewhat and with all the new homes being built as well, now is the perfect time for a primary school.
“It will not only help cater for those moving into the area but it will also open up other places in schools in Whitnash that would have otherwise been occupied by children from Warwick Gates.
“It’s important parents have choice but also it’s vital the situation is managed carefully as there’s no point filling up a new school and leaving others half empty.”