AN extra 25 houses could be built on school land to fund a major refurbishment project.

In June 2016 planning permission was approved by Epping Forest District Council to completely redevelop Chigwell Primary Academy.

To pay for the £4.5m works, which would see the demolition of all but the school's central building and the erection of a new block, the construction of 32 houses was agreed.

Now, in a report to be put before the council’s district development management committee next week, the number of new builds has been upped to 59.

In the report officers wrote: “The essential principles surrounding the application are unchanged from the previous scheme.

“It is broadly accepted that the objective of securing a modern for purpose school will only be secured by alternative funding as public resources will always be directed to areas of greater social and economic need.”

It is hoped income from the homes, which consist of seven two bed flats and 15 three bed, 13 four bed and 23 five bed houses in the north west of the site, and one seven bed house in the south east, will help give the school a new lease of life.

Large parts of the school date back to the 1930s and 1960s, and the site includes a number of temporary classrooms.

When planning permission was first granted, head teacher Elaine Brooke spoke of internet that dropped out during rain, leaks that have destroyed art displays and children needing to wear coats inside during winter months.

“Children have not received the best educational opportunities which should be available to them,” she said.

“We are now working tirelessly to provide the children with the education they deserve and become a school they - and the community - can be proud of.

“Unfortunately the poor condition of the building makes this difficult to achieve.”

The plan stipulates that no more than 20 per cent of the houses can be occupied before installation is completed on temporary classrooms, existing building are demolished and a new playground is formed.