Consultation on a proposal to relocate and expand Chapel Road Complex Needs School from Attleborough to Old Buckenham

Closed 14 Dec 2014

Opened 17 Nov 2014



Chapel Road Complex Needs School is currently based in Attleborough and provides 60 places for children and young people aged 3 to 19.  It has been consistently judged outstanding by Ofsted. 

The school buildings are in need of modernisation and a larger site is required to rebuild it to meet the future needs of its pupils, who have a range of complex needs.  We also want to ensure that it can educate as many children with special educational needs as possible from the south of the County, to reduce their travel times and costs.

This proposal was agreed subject to a modification that cannot now be met by the date set (31/8/2015) so we’ve had to get a new date agreed with the Director.  This now has a modification date of 31 March 2016*.  The reason for this is that it has not been possible to comply with the original timescale because of the death of the landowner.  The lease in favour of NCC, although agreed before his death, was unable to be signed due to failing health and the absence of Power of Attorney rights.  The second condition automatically fell.  Without the land in place the County Council could not enter into a construction contract. Please see the attached Determination Notice.

A revised programme has been drawn up on this basis and assumes a tender process will commence as soon as land achieved. If however, a further tender process is necessary, the revised programme will be approximately 12 months behind originally planned leading to an occupancy / implementation date of 1 September 2017. All opportunities to reduce this are currently being explored but are dependent on confirmation from the executors of the will in relation to timings to achieve probate. The implementation date is therefore modified to 1 September 2017.






Why your views matter

Last October we shared with you our proposal to relocate and expand Chapel Road Complex Needs School from Attleborough to Old Buckenham.  We have continued to develop our ideas and we are now formally consulting on a proposal.   

You can read the report we have written for Children's Services, as well the formal public notice and statutory proposal below. The public consultation will run from 17 November to 14 December 2014.

What are we proposing?

We are proposing to build a new 110 pupil place school and relocate the building close to another primary and secondary school so it can develop as part of a wider educational campus.  This offers the opportunity to share resources and for students and staff to work alongside different groups of learners.  A suitable location has been identified in Old Buckenham where land close to the primary school, and opposite the high school, has become available to provide for the new school and a dedicated access.

Why do we need this facility?

We have been working alongside the governing body and headteacher for a number of years to try and make the new school a reality.  We now have an opportunity to build upon the excellent work being done by Chapel Road School by extending the range and capacity of specialist provision for children in Norfolk.

How big would the establishment be?

The new school will provide 110 pupil places.

How will the building work be funded?

We have been granted £3.83m from the Department of Education to provide 47 new places.  The County Council has committed a further £8.02m of capital funding to meet the estimated costs of the 110 pupil place school including the access road.

Where would the children come from?

Chapel Road School is a county-wide facility, but will mainly cater for children from the south of the county. We want to reduce both the costs and the travel time of learners with special educational needs.  This proposal provides 50 more places in the south of the County.

What will be the traffic impact on the village?

When we consulted last autumn, Old Buckenham residents told us that the entrance to the new school should come off the Attleborough Road, the B1077. We have shared this view with the landowner, who has agreed in principle for us to lease an additional strip to enable this to happen for the use of the new school. This means that the new school will not add further pressure to the traffic around the existing schools, particularly at the beginning and end of the day when the pressures are intense.

We are continuing discussions with the Village Hall committee and Parish Council representatives on the existing traffic and parking situation. 

Maintaining links with Attleborough

A new school on a site in Old Buckenham, would allow the strong relationship which the school has developed over the years with the Attleborough community to continue.   

The school has recently opened its own shop, called ‘Gifted and Able’, in Attleborough town centre to provide work-related learning opportunities for its students ages 14-19. The extended learning opportunities and the support from the Attleborough community will therefore be able to develop further. The school will also develop support for Attleborough through offering young adults with learning difficulties work placements within the shop setting.

How can I make a formal representation?

You can tell us your views by emailing

You can write to us at: Chapel Road School Consultation, FREEPOST, 1H2076, Floor 8 (Bay 10), County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2BR. You don’t need a stamp.


What happens next

What are the next decisions to be taken by the County Council?

We are now formally consulting the public on our proposal. The public consultation will run from 17 November to 14 December 2014.

The earliest that any change could take place would be for September 2015 and the new building is expected to be ready for use by February 2016.

The County Council will also need to submit a planning application for the new building.  To comply with the conditions of the Government grant, this will need to be submitted before the Statutory Notice is approved, but any planning permission cannot be implemented without the notice being approved. Our target point for submitting the planning application is late June.  Once the application is validated, which usually takes two weeks, there follows a statutory planning period during which people may comment on the scheme, including making formal planning objections.


  • Attleborough
  • Old Buckenham


  • Children
  • Parents and carers and guardians
  • All residents
  • Schools


  • Children and young people
  • Education and early years
  • Carers support
  • Disability