Plans for new primary school in Whiteley

Cllr Sean Woodward

Cllr Sean Woodward

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Eastleigh Chief Reporter

A NEW £4.5m primary school could be set up in a Hampshire community as early as next year, it has been revealed.

Parents in Whiteley have long campaigned for extra school places to cope with ever increasing pupil numbers in the area.

Now civic chiefs say there is a “very real possibility” of setting up a 210-place temporary school, with the aim of making the facility permanent in the future.

Proposed sites for the Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School include land off Rookery Avenue and land at Lady Betty’s Drive.

Attempts were made to set up schools in 2007 and 2011, but neither of the plans came to fruition.

Fareham Borough Council ’s executive leader, Sean Woodward, said the other option now would be to leave the system as it was and continue to provide extra primary age places elsewhere within the western wards.

But he added: “The issue of insufficient primary school places in Whiteley has been serious for a number of years.

“We now have the very real prospect of being able to open a new school in temporary accommodation next September but to achieve this it is critical that the residents of Whiteley pull together to give it their strong support.”

Talks are already under way with Hampshire County Council ’s executive member for education Roy Perry, as well as county estates manager Patricia Stallard.

It is hoped the chosen site would provide enough land for a “wellequipped school” complete with outdoor space and car parking.

The school would then move into permanent accommodation once a planned new development is completed north of Whiteley.

A public meeting will be held on September 25 from 7.30pm at Whiteley Primary School.

Parents also have a chance to examine the proposals at a drop-in session in Whiteley Community Centre on October 5 from 9.30am to 11.30am.

Consultation will run until October 23 before Portsmouth Diocese decides whether to publish a public notice.

A recommendation will then by made to Cllr Perry, who will either approve or reject the scheme in January next year.

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