Shropshire Council leaders urged to 'come clean' over new Shrewsbury Academy plans
Shropshire Council leaders are being challenged to “come clean” over plans for the new Shrewsbury Academy.
The Academy, formerly known as the Grange School, is looking for a bigger home to meet its future expansion.
Council leader Peter Nutting has said that several potential sites have been suggested including Shrewsbury Sports Village in Sundorne.
But, according to local Labour Councillor, Kevin Pardy, the council has failed to name any other site that would be big enough for the school as it grows to take up to 1,200 pupils.
“The Conservative leadership says various options are being considered apart from the Sports Village – so why doesn’t it come clean and name them all?” he said.
Councillor Pardy added that when he pressed Councillor Nutting for a full list he referred him to the Council’s Director of Children Services.
“I was given the names of three sites: the Sports Village, the Grange School, and the present site on Corndon Crescent," said Councillor Pardy.
“But Councillor Nutting told a public meeting on September 5 that the Grange and Corndon Crescent are not suitable because their footprints are too small.
“So has the Sports Village been the only choice all along? The council’s leaders are either hiding the truth or deliberately trying to mislead the public."
Councillor Pardy, who is being backed by the Shropshire Council Labour group and Shrewsbury and Atcham Labour Party, said the Sports Village should be ruled out as an option because of its importance as a sporting and recreational venue.
“Sundorne has lost all of its green areas over the years and this is the last.
"Vast amounts of money were spent on the Sports Village and the sports fields, a lot of the money came as grants from various groups and some of groups have indicated they may claw back money from the council.
“The result of this expenditure was that the football pitches produced are said to be amongst the finest in the region if not the country. This land is irreplaceable.”
Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, said: “It’s important to note that this isn’t about ‘future expansion’ of Shrewsbury Academy, but is about consolidation of existing provision onto a single site, rather than the split sites that the trust currently operates on. The combined pupil numbers for the two schools is 1,185 pupils.
"The planned provision on a single site will be for the same number of pupils – 1,185.
“Shropshire Council and the Marches Academy Trust are considering all options and further work is being undertaken to fully understand all potential sites.
"We are also beginning some financial modelling to understand the cost implications. Until this work has been completed it is too early to make any further comment.”