Laying the groundwork for possible £10million investment in school places in Fleet
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Building designs for a proposed school expansion in north Hampshire have been given the go ahead, in plans that could see a total of £10million invested by Hampshire County Council to increase primary school places in the Fleet area.
Designs for the £4.5million proposed expansion of Tavistock Community Infant and All Saints C of E (VA) Junior Schools in Fleet have been agreed by County Council Leader, Councillor Ken Thornber. This lays the groundwork while feedback is collected in a public consultation on the proposed expansion plans.
Based on the consultation results, a final decision will then be made in December by the Executive Lead Member for Children's Services, Councillor Roy Perry.
If given the go ahead, it would see Tavistock Community Infant School in Broadacres, expanded to create a three form entry school to provide an extra 90 places and cater for a total of 270 pupils. Meanwhile an additional 120 places could also be created at All Saints CofE Junior School, off Leawood Road, so that it could accommodate a total of 480 pupils. It is being proposed that three additional reception classrooms, a library, IT resource area and play areas would be provided at Tavistock. At All Saints, improvements could include a four-classroom extension, extended hall, and reconfigured playground areas.
Only with approval in December could work expect to start on site during Summer 2013, and complete during Summer 2014, so that pupils could begin to use the new facilities at the start of the Autumn Term.
Earlier this year, £5.5million design plans were also approved for the Fleet area. The plans will see Tweseldown Infant School relocated and expanded into the new housing development off Sandy Lane, on the former Queen Elizabeth Barracks site, to create a 270 place three form entry infant school.
Church Crookham Junior School will also be extended into the vacated and refurbished Tweseldown Infant School building, to cater for 480 pupils. This will provide additional pupil places needed at both schools following the construction of a new housing development nearby.
By expanding existing schools in the area, it is more favourable than building a brand new school, as the existing schools are already located close to the new housing developments at Edenbrook and Queen Elizabeth Barracks. These are successful, well-established and popular schools, and their expansion close to the new developments would help to bring the new and expanding community together, as well as allow pupils to walk and cycle to school.
Councillor Thornber, said: "If agreed in December, these latest proposals for Fleet represent significant investment by the County Council, and reflect our commitment to providing children in the area with the best possible start in life.
"In line with the national picture, Hampshire is experiencing an increase in demand for primary school places and this is down to a number of factors including; a rising number of births, housing development and increasing numbers of families moving into the county. Some parts of Hampshire are more affected than others, and these proposals for Fleet form part of wider plans to create additional school places in a large number of communities including Farnborough, Bramley, Overton, Winchester, Eastleigh, Basingstoke, Emsworth and Andover."
Elsewhere, detailed feasibility work is also underway with Calthorpe Park School in Fleet to ensure the necessary secondary school places are available to meet the predicted rise in demand.