VIDEO: Public consultation launched on plans for Haverhill’s Castle Manor Academy

Members of the public are being given the opportunity to have their say in a proposed redevelopment of Haverhill’s Castle Manor Academy.

A consultancy period began on Monday, July 14, on the redevelopment of the academy on land next to Eastern Avenue and Park Road.

Pupils, students and staff from Burton End Primary School, Castle Manor Academy and Place Farm Primary Academy. ANL-140717-113508001

Pupils, students and staff from Burton End Primary School, Castle Manor Academy and Place Farm Primary Academy. ANL-140717-113508001

Plans put forward in the consultation draft include replacing the existing buildings, some of which date back to the 1950s, with newer, specialised units.

A new entrance to the site on Park Road is also being considered, as are plans for further car parking facilities.

“We don’t want to change the face of Haverhill,” said Jason Andre, Marketing and Communications officer at Castle Manor Academy. “We’ve got more space than we need and buildings that don’t fit their purposes.

“We’ve got a 33 acre site. It’s not so much that we’re expanding, we just need to use the space more efficiently.

“People come in and we like them to think this is a professional space. Some of the buildings have been here since the 50s. Others were built in the 70s. They’re very old, they have rooves that leak.

“We have the massive cost of the upkeep while we should be spending money on educating young people.

“Haverhill deserves an entirely new campus.”

The public consultation is being coordinated by St Edmondsbury Borough Council. It will run until 5pm on Monday, August 11, and will give members of the public to discuss any concerns or ask any questions they may have about the development.

A drop in session will take place at Castle Manor Academy on Haverhill’s Eastern Avenue this Saturday (July 19) at 10am.

The session is open to all members of the public and will give the opportunity to discuss the plans with members of the council.

This is the second time members of the public have been asked for their opinions on the development of the school site.

The last consultation, which took the form of a community workshop in October 2013, helped to set the paramaters for the more concrete discussions currently under way this time round.

Speaking about the plans, Madeleine Vigar, Executive Principal of the Castle Partnership Academy Trust, said: “Our schools have always been part of the heartbeat of our community.

“We are proud of our community and our growing town. Our children will be future citizens of our forward thinking, vibrant town.

“We want to ensure 21st Century buildings in keeping with our ambitions for our children and our town.”

The development of the site would fit in with its ongoing drive to become more integrated with the surrounding area.

“It’s increasingly more like a hub for the local community,” added Mr Andre. “We have sports clubs and children coming in from all the villages around.

“We obviously want to continue that. As always, the local community has been very supportive of us.”

Watch the video above for a bird’s eye view of the Castle Manor Academy site.