Interesting how the article twists its fate from flooding to lack of housing development! Especially as various local vested interests made several attempts to move in on the area.
And many will recall Hugo Swire’s comments about his involvement in this. It now looks as though he might have realised its days on its current site were numbered at least as far back as September last year:
“A Devon village looks set to lose its thriving primary school because of a flooding threat.
Tipton St John Church of England Primary School is likely to move to a site within the campus of The King’s School Ottery St Mary.
The move comes after the primary school missed out on funds to relocate within the village.
The school, which has a split site , currently faces the a threat of flooding.
The majority of its pupils come from outside the village and there is no prospect of significant housing development to allow the catchment area.”
Here is what Mr Swire said in January 2016:
“I am, as I have been for some time, deeply concerned about the effect of flooding on Tipton St John Primary School and the recent floods show just how vulnerable the school is. This is clearly an unsustainable situation and it is not only the pupils’ quality of education but also their safety which is being compromised.
‘I spoke to Lord Nash this afternoon and re-emphasised the urgency of finding a solution to this problem. Whilst the long-term solution remains under consideration, the Minister agreed that in the short-term he would contact the EA and ask them to look into possible measures which could mitigate further flooding to the school.
‘It is clear to me that we need to take a broader look at flooding in East Devon and I have invited Sir James Bevan, the new Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, to the constituency so that I am able to show him some of the areas which are most affected’.
and in September 2015:
“Very real concerns have been raised over the safety of the pupils at the school so it is essential that we find a solution to this problem. I am supportive of the proposal to move the school to a safer part of the village but securing the significant amount of funding required will always be a challenge.
‘I wanted to take this issue to ministerial level and impress upon Lord Nash the importance and urgency of this situation. I was very pleased that the Minister said he would look again at the school’s original PSBP2 application and send an official from the Department for Education to Tipton St John so that they can see for themselves the perilous situation in which the school finds itself in.
‘This is promising news but we still have a long way to go before finding a long-term solution to this problem’.
Doesn’t sound like he expected the school to survive in its current location and that he had a pretty good idea that the ” long-term solution” would be closure.