Great crested newts discovery halts Corby school build

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Work on a new primary school for a Northamptonshire town has stopped following the discovery of great crested newts.

The first pupils at Corby Primary Academy in Oakley Vale, Corby, will have to temporarily move to a refurbished former junior school.

The school will open as scheduled in September 2013, but with fewer pupils than planned.

The rare amphibians are protected by EU and UK law.

'Setback' for school

Councillor Andrew Grant, county council cabinet member for children, learning and skills, said: "There's no denying that this is a setback but we appreciate the ecological significance of the situation.

"The presence of the newts means that we are not permitted to start work on site until spring after the newts have been relocated."

Corby Primary Academy is being built on the site of Exeter Primary School.

The council has decided to refurbish the former school's junior block so the school can open on time.

This means it will only have 60 reception places and 30 places in years one and two when it opens next September.

If the build had not been halted, the school would also have had places for Key Stage 2 children.

Wildlife experts are now deciding what should happen to the newts.

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