The preferred sites for new schools in Sutton have been announced as the council seeks to ease the pressure on places in the borough.

Demand has reached near breaking point and means two eight-form schools need to be built to avert a crisis.

This is in addition to the five secondary schools, which will grow by 600 further places across the next five years, from 2015, at a cost of £10.1 million, and a further five secondary schools earmarked to share five and a half more forms of entry between them from 2016, creating 825 additional places.

The preferred sites for new schools are Sutton Hospital in Belmont, owned by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust, and the all-weather pitch in Rosehill, next to the Sutton Tennis Centre.

The council now has 40 days to bid for the Belmont site after the trust made the land available to public bodies, while Rosehill requires support from the Greater London Authority as only part of the land is owned by the council, the remainder being Metropolitan Open Land.

Councillor Wendy Mathys, chairman of the children, family and education committee, said: "Sutton is known to have some of the best school provision in the country and we must continue to expand our schools and build new ones in order to retain that status.

"With the number of children in the borough continuing to rise, we have to find new sites so that every child in Sutton can continue to have a school place.

"Space for secondary schools is of course at a premium and we have been working with Epsom St Helier Trust for a site to become available for purchase. We will now develop plans for both sites and we hope to have a planning applications submitted for the first new school by the spring." The 33 per cent increase in births in Sutton since 2001 as well as an increase in net migration to the borough has contributed to the need for more school places.

Feasibility studies for both sites will be completed in January.

The council said one school, expected to be a Greenshaw-run free school, will need to be up and running in part by 2017; the other by 2019.

In September, the council also outlined plans to expand two primary schools, Hackbridge Primary School and Cheam Common Junior School, along with special school, Sherwood Park School.

Councillor Tim Crowley, leader of the opposition on Sutton Council said: "Now the hard work starts.

"They have identified two places and they have got to make it work."