New Secondary School Next Door?

The fields to the north-east, east and south of the plot form part of Thulston Fields Farm which a tenant farmer uses to grow a range of arable crops although the land is owned by a property development company.

For some time I’ve been aware that Thulston Fields Farm is being promoted as a site for a new secondary school – see in particular this Hearing Statement from November 2014 (PDF link). The site is within the Nottingham and Derby Green Belt and planning permission for any development would require exceptional approval. Such approval would no doubt be more easily obtained for a secondary school than for residential housing development.

The Boulton Moor area has planning approval for a lot of new housing and currently does’t have particularly good secondary school provision, so it does make sense to look at building a new school in the area. A recent report to the Derbyshire County Council Cabinet (PDF link) concludes that Thulston Fields is the preferred location, with an alternative site at Lowes Farm (west of Chellaston) a back-up in case approval to build on the Green Belt is not forthcoming, or if other circumstances change.

Thulston Fields Farm is a large site and a school would only occupy a fraction of it, and presumably the school complex would be located adjacent to Snelsmoor Lane (where the current farm buildings are) and so would not be literally next door, although if there is going to be some development there a school would be better than many of the alternatives.