A FAMILY home has been snapped up by Southend Council as chiefs plot ways to expand the town’s schools.

Bosses have shelled out a six-figure sum for 61 Windermere Road, in Southchurch, and could buy another five neighbouring houses in the same street.

The row of terraced homes is sandwiched by the two separate sites of Sacred Heart Primary School, one of the schools due to be extended by the council to cope with a baby boom in the town.

James Courtenay, the Tory councillor responsible for education, said: “This is part of our long term plan.

By purchasing it, it gives us the flexibility if Sacred Heart wishes to extend in the future. “As with many of our schools, Sacred Heart is landlocked.

“Cabinet is due to make a final decision about whether a new primary school is needed or to expand some of our schools in January.

“It’s safe to assume a new school isn’t going to happen, so this is giving us maximum flexibility with primary school provision.”