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REVEALED: Location of North Devon's first free school confirmed

By NDJPhilippa  |  Posted: February 20, 2013

  • The current site at Steart Farm, in Bucks Cross, where the free school will be built.

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FARMLAND near Bideford has been revealed as the permanent site of North Devon's first free school.

Steart Farm, in Bucks Cross, will be where Route 39 Academy will be built once the site gets planning permission.

A public consultation is about to begin on the site which is currently being run as a campsite and caravan park by Robin and Lesley Croslegh

The Education Funding Agency has secured 16 acres of land, including the farmhouse, and the school will be a new build of 5950 m2.

Route 39 is working closely with the school’s architect, Aedas, to produce a model that will deliver a world-class educational and community resource, fit for the 21st Century and complement the site’s position within an AONB.

Sara Grimshaw, one of the governors, said: “The negotiation for the site has been a long and frustrating process.

“For legal and financial reasons it has not been possible to name the preferred site. We are therefore delighted to end the speculation.

"We are extremely grateful to the team at the Education Funding Agency who have worked tirelessly to secure the best site for the school and will continue to support us as we progress the planning process.”

Joss Glossop, the head teacher of Route 39, said: "This is potentially one of the most stunning locations of any school in the whole of the country.

“You can see right across Bideford Bay, and on a good day as far as the Gower Peninsular.

"It is such a beautiful, inspiring and uplifting location - we are extremely lucky to have found it.”

While the planning process is underway and the school is being built the first intake of students will be in temporary buildings beside The Milky Way.

The temporary buildings are specially designed classroom units which are used regularly by schools whilst building projects are taking place.

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