NORTH Yorkshire County Council says two new primary schools are needed in Skipton to cope with the expected 480 places needed as a result of hundreds of planned new homes.

In its response to the building of 107 new homes every year in Skipton up to 2032, as proposed in the Craven Local Plan, it says two new schools of 210 places each will need to be built.

And it could mean using Ings Community Primary School - even though its executive is expected next week to forge ahead with its planned closure at the end of the year.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said the council had informed Craven District Council more than a year ago of the need for two new primary schools in Skipton, before reiterating it again in August.

It contrasts with Craven Council, which has said the county council's request for an additional primary school site was made recently and was one of the issues that led to a delay of several weeks of the plan, which it had planned to submit to the secretary of state before the end of the year.

The county council spokesman said North Yorkshire was 'very aware' of the present and future need for primary school places in Skipton.

"We set out the need for two additional school sites in Skipton in our response to the second draft of the Craven Local Plan over a year ago, in May 2016. We confirmed this need again in our most recent response in August."

The county council expects there to be 1,054 primary aged pupils in Skipton by 2021/22 - a rise from the current level of 1,030. It also expects a further 189 children, from homes already approved to be built, and 348 if all the homes proposed in the local plan are built.

"The timing of the impact of housing is uncertain but it does mean that by 2029/30 it is estimated there is likely to be a shortfall of 480 places for primary aged pupils in Skipton," said the spokesman.

On Tuesday next week, the county council's Executive Board is expected to agree to the publication of statutory notices, which will see the school close at the end of the year.

Councillors will be told of the 42 pupils remaining at the start of the consultation, there was just one pupil left, all the others having been transferred to other schools, including four to Cracoe and Rylstone.

"Although it seems unusual that there is a plan for two additional primary schools in Skipton when there is an existing primary school with surplus places at Skipton Ings, the school has not in reality been contributing to the supply of primary school places in Skipton due to significant under-subscription, with no prospect of this changing," said the spokesman.

"The situation for the requirement of additional places will be reviewed once the future use of the Skipton Ings site becomes clearer."

The Regional Schools Commissioner has been consulted about the future use of the site for education provision and the likelihood of opening of an academy on the site at some point in the future.

"If the site can be utilized fully for primary places then this will reduce the requirement for new provision elsewhere in the town."

Following the end of a six week consultation at the end of July on the draft local plan, Craven District Council said it needed to make adaptations to the plan which would put an extra several weeks onto its timetable. It said the county council had asked for two and not just one new primary school site in Skipton.