A HAMPSHIRE school has been given permission to replace a “dilapidated” teaching block with a state-of-the-art complex fit for the 21st century.

Hounsdown School in Jacobs Gutter Lane, Totton, intends to demolish a 44-year-old building which is in a poor state of repair and showing signs of subsidence.

The school’s application to construct a new facility costing up to £1.5m has been approved by New Forest council.

Hounsdown’s executive head teacher, Julie Turvey, said the single-storey building would be funded by the Department for Education (DfE).

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She added: “Staff, governors and I are absolutely delighted the council has approved the proposed development, which will see five new history classrooms, learning support rooms and additional facilities.

“We’re now awaiting final approval from the DfE to begin work early in the summer term, with completion by July 2020.

“Our bid for this build was written by our school business manager, Sandy Bailey, who will be retiring at the end of the Easter term.

“It’s fitting the project will start before she leaves, as it is testimony to her outstanding contribution to the school. We hope she will come back for the official opening of the building."

The planning application included a report by the school’s building consultants, DHP, which described the existing block as dilapidated.

It added: “The current classroom block is one of the original buildings constructed during the early 1970s (and extended during the early 1980s).

“It is now showing its age, is in a poor state of repair, including subsidence, and is of little architectural merit.”

The report said the proposed development would greatly improve the site by providing a well-designed, well-proportioned building which “respects, compliments and enhances the school”.

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It added: “The new building will be modern, functional and fit for purpose.

“It will provide a suitable environment to encourage high quality teaching and learning that reflects the needs and talents of individual students and equips them to thrive in an increasingly competitive world.

“No temporary school accommodation will be required to achieve this as the new block will be sited on another area of the school.

“The application is not for any kind of school expansion or any increase in current student numbers.”

Totton and Eling Town Council supported the application.

A report to members said: “The proposed new teaching block would replace an existing building of similar size and would be fundamental for the school to ensure pupils are taught in a satisfactory environment.”