THE FUTURE of a new home for a Frampton Cotterell primary school could be in doubt, as the Parish Council looks to secure listing for one of sites.

Watermore Primary, the only school in the area to be given ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, has planned to combine their infant school site with their junior school on Lower Stone Close since its creation in 2011.

However those plans now look to be in jeopardy because of a dispute about the infant school building on Woodend Road, with Frampton Cotterell Parish Council having submitted an application for the building to be given listed status, protecting it from redevelopment.

Unifying the school has been the focus of a £6.68million investment plan from South Gloucestershire Council, with the sale of the Woodend Road site expected to contribute £195,000 from Homes England’s Land Release Fund – funding that would be lost if the site were protected.

The delay means that the new-look school, which would accommodate 420 primary places, would not be finished by September 2019 as previously hoped.

Watermore head teacher Janet Hoyle said she was ‘really disappointed’ by the timing of the parish council’s application.

“The plans have been developed by the local authority, governors and staff over a long period of time and we have been looking forward to bringing the school together on one site. By September 2019 we will need the extra space that the new building will provide, in order to accommodate all our children.

“I am sure that the building of the new school will definitely go ahead, I would just like to see the appropriate people communicate to find the best outcome for the school.”

The parish council say they applied for the building to be listed because the building, which was built in 1846, has heritage value to the village.

“All local people want to see the new school opened as soon as possible,” said Cllr Claire Young, of South Gloucestershire Council.

“As the parent of a child who was educated in the temporary classrooms at Watermore, I absolutely share that ambition and wish to find a suitable solution.”

SGC leader Cllr Toby Savage said that he was ‘thoroughly disappointed’ by the parish councillors’ actions which he said threatens a huge development in education for the area.

“I am not surprised that the team including governors, and parents will likely feel this is a kick in the teeth as they did so without telling anyone, after so much hard work,” he said, calling on the parish council to ‘come clean and state their position on this project, and explain why they want to throw obstacles in the way just months away from the start of the school year’.

However Cllr Young responded by stating that ‘all local people want to see the new school open as soon as possible’ and as a parent of a former Watermore pupil, she absolutely shared that ambition and called on Cllr Savage to ‘concentrate on working constructively with everyone involved in this process’.

The school however is still expecting to go ahead with plans to expand, with Ms Hoyle promising that spaces to match the demand of the area will be provided.

“I hope that the council and Historic England can make the right decisions that help the school continue to develop,” she said.

“I would just like to reassure parents of any children that join the school that Watermore will be working with the local authority to put plans in place if there are delays to the building process.”

The process of the redevelopment of the school was sped up by Luke Hall, MP for Yate and Thornbury after he secured and extra £2 million of funding from the Government Land Release Fund for the proposed building plans.