A head teacher has moved to explain changes to plans for the first new school the district has seen built in years.

Parking provision for teachers at the £18 million St John’s School in Tower Road, Epping is expected to be increased from 44 to 76, while bike spaces for pupils are set to be quartered, falling from 322 to at least 80.

George Yerosimou, the school’s head teacher, said: “The plans were drawn up some years ago.

“What we’ve been looking at now is basically how many spaces are being used now by staff.

“The original number put in was not realistic. We have been promoting car sharing, but we’re a rural school and a lot of them live far away.

“On Bury Lane, where the new entrance to the school will be, there is no parking or pavements.

“We don’t want to upset the local residents by having too many cars outside.”

He added that the number of bike spaces planned far outstripped the number of pupils who currently cycled in.

He added: “The local area isn’t really conducive to children cycling – there are no cycle paths.

“Maybe it’s something the town and district councils can be looking at.”

He said the basic structure of the new school building, which the school plans to move into in September, was complete.

He added: “The wiring, heating and the pipe work is going in at the moment, so they’re working full speed ahead.

“Around Easter, we’re hoping to get staff and students going over there in small groups, getting them used to the building.”