Bicton too ‘isolated’ for Mill Water pupils

PUBLISHED: 12:13 23 November 2011

Mill Water School students are an integral part of the community in Honiton, say local councillors. Here, students are pictured taking part in an art project at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery.

Mill Water School students are an integral part of the community in Honiton, say local councillors. Here, students are pictured taking part in an art project at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery.

Archant

That’s the concern of Honiton Town Council.

Relocating Mill Water School to Bicton College could put pupils at a “considerable disadvantage”.

That is the view of Honiton Town Council, which was last night (Tuesday) firming up its response to the relocation proposal as part of a consultation.

A document, due to be considered by members of the council’s planning committee, said the move would divorce children from “a supportive town community” and put them in “a relatively isolated country site”.

Councillors believe the original plan to relocate the school to Cranbrook would be better - because pupils would be part of a community. The town council considers the views of parents and pupils should have precedence in the consultation.

In its draft response to the Devon County Council plan, the town council states: “Mill Water School has been an integral part of Honiton’s community for over 30 years.

“Pupils from the school are seen in the town regularly and are accepted as an integral part of our community.

“Honiton Town Council will be sad to see the school leave the town. As well as valuing the pupils, the school employs many local people and plays a significant part in the local economy.”

The draft response continues: “Whilst understanding the benefits of the move to Bicton College campus, the town council would wish to point out what it considers to be the considerable disadvantage. That is that Mill Water pupils will be moving away from a supportive town community to a relatively isolated country site.

“The ability to walk to visit the local shops and cafes, and the benefits of socialising in a supportive community, are key things that the town council feels will be missing on the Bicton campus.”

The town council says it wants to be consulted over future uses of the school’s present Honiton Bottom Road site. Ideally, it would like to see affordable homes developed in its place.


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