THREE new primary schools are likely to be needed in Ryedale in the next 15 years to cope with the anticipated rise in the number of children, due to the building of new homes in the district.

The revelation has come from Cynthia Welbourn, director of children and young people’s services for North Yorkshire, in a report due to go before councillors at today’s Ryedale Area Committee meeting.

In the report, Ms Welbourn says the new planning blueprint for Ryedale, known as the strategy development plan, envisages 200 homes a year being built between now and 2027. In total at least 3,000 will be put up, with Malton and Norton getting 1,500, Pickering 750, Kirkbymoorside 300, Helmsley 150 and larger villages a total of 300. The report says the primary schools are likely to be built in Malton, Norton and Pickering.

Ms Welbourn said the county council uses a “common pupil yield”

factor of one primary school child for every four dwellings. “Clearly with a 15-year development plan, this will not happen in all areas, so this is purely illustrative at this time,” she added.

Malton Primary School has some limited scope for expansion on its existing site, but at Norton Primary School, growth would “not be feasible on what is a tight existing site area”, said Ms Welbourn. St Mary’s Primary School, in Malton, is expected to have no surplus capacity in 2017/18.

“Ryedale District Council officers have advised that, given the volume of new housing proposed, it is possible that provision for new school sites would need to be made in both Malton and Norton,” added Ms Welbourn.

In Pickering, the building of 750 homes shows a potential shortfall of 236 pupil places in the town's infant and junior schools, and St Joseph’s Primary School expects to have “very limited” capacity.

“An assessment is currently being made of the scope for expansion at the existing infant and junior schools, but at this point the need to provide a new school site in Pickering, is a possibility,” said Ms Welbourn.

Kirkbymoorside Primary School is also currently being expanded to cope with the growing number of pupils, partly due to new housing developments, and a further 300 homes will leave a shortfall of accommodation for pupils. “That would need to be addressed in the future,” adds the report.

Helmsley Primary School has some existing surplus capacity and could potentially accommodate the number of pupils expected from the 150 new homes without the need to expand the school, but this will be “kept under review”, said Ms Welbourn.

In the villages, the majority of schools have some surplus capacity and could potentially accommodate the small number of extra pupils expected from the building of homes in their communities.

Amotherby is seeing a growing number of pupils and council officers are working with the school to look at the possibility of expanding it. Schools in Beadlam, Nawton, and Thornton-le-Dale each expect to have “some capacity issues” and more house building would make it increasingly likely. As a result officers are to watch the situation.

To fund the new schools and expansion schemes, house builders will be asked to contribute towards the cost, said Ms Welbourn.