Wantage Farm lease to be considered for new school

Schools and education

14 September 2021

Aerial image showing the location of Wantage Farm

Aspirations for a new secondary school at the Wantage Farm site in Moulton could take a step closer this month.
 
West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) Cabinet is set to consider a proposed agreement for a 125 year lease on the land following local consultation.
 
If a lease is agreed during the meeting on Tuesday 14 September, the Department for Education can than submit a planning application for the school, details of which will also be subject to consultation.

“The Department for Education has pledged to invest £25 million to build a new school at the site.
 
“We know we have a shortage of secondary school places in our area, so agreeing the lease so the DfE can progress a planning application seems the most pragmatic approach at this stage.”
Cllr Malcolm Longley, WNC Cabinet Member for Finance

 The Government funding pledge is the result of a successful bid by the Northampton School for Boys (NSB) Trust, though if a school was built on the site it would be open to both boys and girls. NSB is an outstanding-rated school with an excellent track record.

Additional consultation

At a Cabinet meeting in July this year, members asked for additional consultation to be carried out, in order to inform their decision making.
 
Direct consultees included MPs, ward and parish councillors, residents of Moulton, Overstone, Moulton Leys and Southfields. Additional responses were also received.
 
While the vast majority of people who responded to the consultation agreed that additional secondary school places were needed, about half of those who responded disagreed with use of this site.
 
Most of the objections received were around issues which would be considered as part of the planning process, so officers have recommended that Cabinet agrees the lease.
 
For full details on this, please take a look at item 16 of the Cabinet agenda on our website.