TOWN Hall bosses have given the go-ahead to swap land with County Hall as part of a massive expansion of a high school in Clacton.

Clacton County High School wants to expand to cater for the growing number of pupils leaving primary school in the town.

The school has been working with Essex County Council on the plans, which would see its sixth form relocated to the Tendring Education Centre, based at the site of the former Bishop's Park College in Jaywick Lane.

The move will create room for the expansion at the school's site in Walton Road, including a new ten-classroom block and four-court sports hall.

Tendring Council's cabinet has now agreed to transfer some land from the existing Vista Road recreation ground in order to increase the playing field space at the school.

In exchange County Hall will give Tendring Council extra land at Rush Green in Clacton and will pay for a series of improvements, including a new all-weather 3G pitch at Clacton Leisure Centre.

Council leader Neil Stock thanked the district council officers for negotiating a good deal with their County Hall counterparts.

He said: “In principle, we all support better educational facilities in this district and the expansion of Clacton County High School is something we all welcome.

“But there is a cost to us as a district in losing open space – so it is not something we do lightly.

“The county council assumed they would get it for nothing, but the deal struck is a good balance. It is the right thing to do.”

The council received eight letters of objection to the proposal to swap the land.

Carlo Guglielmi, cabinet member for finance, said: “The land hasn’t just been transferred, there’s been a huge amount of negotiation.

“It has brought about not just the land swap, but this will enable us to address a huge amount of problems outside Clacton Leisure Centre, with the refurbishment of the skate park and the all-weather pitch.

“This will not only enhance the education offer in Clacton, but we’ll get a sixth form facility which will be a state-of-the art.

“We have received letters of objections, but the need for school places far outweighs the loss of a small part of the Vista Road site.

”We’ll also increase our ownership of land at Rush Green, where we will be able to create something more coherent.”