A Gosport school has been told it can demolish buildings and install ‘not the most attractive but absolutely essential’ temporary ones instead.

The application for the demolition of six buildings and two temporary classrooms, and the erection of three replacement buildings at Bay House School, was granted at a recent Gosport Borough Council meeting.

The regulatory board’s decision also means new pedestrian access to Gomer Lane, new vehicular and cycle parking and landscaping and changes to the boundary treatments can now be made.

Councillor Richard Earle (Lib Dems, Elson) said he didn’t like the design of the new buildings at the secondary school and sixth form college which has 2,300 pupils aged between 11 and 18 years old. 

”I know it’s about costs, I went to that school when I was a kid and it just seems it’s been changed into a modern kind of campus,” he said.

“I want to have a little moan about it. I’m not mad, just disappointed.”

Representing Gillings Planning, on behalf of Kier Construction, Laura Archer said the new three-storey modern building would have good soundproofing, a lower carbon footprint and leave more land for playing fields which are needed “more than ever” for children.

The second application was the siting of a four-storey, flat-roofed, temporary mobile classroom block 60m wide, 32m deep and 13.8m high which will stand on the existing hard-surfaced sports pitch. 

The 59-classroom complex will cater for various subjects, a learning resources centre, a sixth form, a common room and servery, a variety of preparation areas, stores and offices, a plant room, server room, toilets, accessible toilets, cleaners’ cupboards and stairwells.

Gillings Planning’s director Daniel Wiseman said: ”It’s fair to say that the temporary classrooms are not the most attractive of features but they are absolutely essential.

“Trying to keep the site operational, safe and under construction is a challenge. Factoring in space for science experiments to a kiln means a four-storey classroom.”

Councillor Stephen Hammond (Lib Dems, Bridgemary), along with Cllr Earle, likened it to the Bibby Stockholm barge in Weymouth that is currently housing asylum seekers.

In terms of timeframe, Mr Wiseman said it would take two years to complete the new buildings. The programme is long with periods of time that are very compressed where a lot of construction will be carried out during school holidays.

Councillor Earle was surprised that there were only two electric charging points for cars planned. But Mr Wiseman said that’s what the school requested and ducting would be put in place in case more are needed in the future.

The councillors also raised concerns about local residents not being kept informed. Councillor Kevin Casey (Lib Dems, Alverstoke) urged a further leaflet drop to people living opposite the school, to let them know what was going on, as they were concerned about the impact of works on themselves. Mr Wiseman said emails had been sent out previously.

Cllr Hammond suggested that information posters be placed on the boundary site to help tell people what is going on who are not residents and have not been leaflet dropped.