Peterborough Roman Catholic primary gets green light

A council has approved the first state-funded Catholic school to be built in England for more than a decade.

Plans for the primary school at the new Hampton Water development in Peterborough were approved on Wednesday night, despite an 11th-hour challenge from three city councillors.

The school has been criticised over “discriminatory” selection criteria.

It will open to 90 children in 2022, growing to accommodate 630 pupils.

The government will pay 90% of the estimated £11m-£15m cost, with the city council contributing between £1.1m and £1.5m.

Campaigners said the decision was “discriminatory” for prioritising pupils on faith, while there are concerns over increased traffic on the nearby A15.

If the school is oversubscribed, it will make selection 80% Catholic faith-based, with the rest chosen by proximity.

The council said the admissions policy would be “reviewed annually by the school governing body”.