Melbourn Village College principal defends decision to support 200-home proposal

Barrington Parish Council is holding two public meetings on a homes plan for the village.

Barrington Parish Council is holding two public meetings on a homes plan for the village. - Credit: Archant

The principal of Melbourn Village College has defended his school’s decision to support a proposal for 200 new homes in the village.

Last week Melbourn Parish council revealed that they are in ‘total opposition’ to plans for approximately 200 homes off New Road, following a consultation which found that 86 per cent of those surveyed in the village were against the proposals.

Melbourn Village College supported the proposal, however, and while principal Simon Holmes sympathises with the people of the village, the majority of whom oppose the plans, he said the school would not be acting in the students’ best interests by responding negatively.

He believes that the development would potentially increase the number of students at the college – and that this would benefit those already there.

Mr Holmes said: “There has been some misinformation concerning the college in that people were saying that we are full, which we are not.

“The college is funded according to the number of students.

“Put simply, each additional student brings £4,000 of funding per year to the college.

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“If, for example, an additional four children came into our Year 7, the classes would increase by one each, and yet would still be in the low 20s on average.

“Since no extra teachers would be needed there would be very little additional cost to the college.

“Therefore, the additional £16,000 would benefit all the students, new and existing.

“If this were replicated across the college then the additional income and benefit for existing students could be significant with no detriment to their education.

“While I fully understand the concerns and views of Melbourn residents, our first responsibility is to our students and having been asked to take part in the consultation, the college must therefore support a development which would benefit them.”

Cambridge-based developers Endurance Estates hope to submit a planning application for the site, which is known as H7 off New Road, later this year, but had first wanted to consult with people from all sectors of the community.