PLANS for a secondary free school in east Reading have taken a huge step forward after the borough council confirmed it will be built in Crescent Road.
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The council bought the site last year to cope with the rising demand for school places but a political row erupted over whether the school should be in Crescent Road or the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
But the borough council's policy committee tonight agreed to sell the Crescent Road site to the Education Funding Agency (EFA) so that it can become the new Maiden Erlegh secondary free school for 900 pupils.
Education leader Cllr John Ennis: "The council bought the site last year for the express purpose of securing it for a new school which is particularly needed in the east of the borough.
"Without it not only would Reading's secondary schools be full by 2017, it would mean fewer parents and pupils getting a place at the school of the their choice."
Before work can begin the project needs to be approved by the borough's planning committee but the decision means work can begin for the new school to open to Year 7 students in September 2015.
Dr Peter Thomas, executive headteacher at Maiden Erlegh, said: "We look forward to working closely with Reading Borough Council on the building of the new school as part of the provision of outstanding education for children in east Reading."