manoeuvre brings in boarders

AN INDEPENDENT school is planning to expand its boarding facilities after seeing a significant increase in interest from military families as a result of the British Army moving soldiers back to the UK from Germany.

Queen Ethelburga’s provost Brian Martin revealed the school had seen the number of service children taking up places at the school double this year. Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee will be asked to back expansion plans at the school at Thorpe Underwood, between Harrogate and York, when it meets tomorrow.

Officers are recommending the revised plans, which will see a three-storey extension, atrium and second floor extension built, should be given the go ahead.

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A report says: “The college is expanding its roll of boarding pupils and at September 2014 it is expected that the campus will cater for approximately 1,450 pupils, of which approximately 1,050 will be living on site. This is an increase of approximately 200 pupils above the current roll.

“The supporting information states that the school has seen a substantial increase in boarding applications as a result of the British Government’s decision to move the Army of the Rhine back to the UK from Germany.”

Objectors include Thorpe Underwood Parish Council which says the building is higher than in previous plans. Officers have backed the scheme subject to conditions being agreed, saying the impact of the building on the local landscape can be mitigated by “good design and tree cover”.