29 August 2013

Planning consent for police station to become school

Plans have been approved to turn Hove police station into a school site for nearly 500 children.

The city council’s planning committee has approved a scheme which would see the building in Holland Road converted to provide new junior school places.  There would also be an extension of between two and three storeys to create a school hall and two new classrooms.

The council has already consulted on a proposal that the police station should form a second site of West Hove Junior School.  The move matches the second West Hove Infant School site at Connaught Road. 

Planning permission has now been granted and the final stage of the consultation will commence next week, on 2 September.  It is expected the site would open in September 2014, accepting 90 children in its first year, and 120 each year after that.  Numbers would grow to around 480 as new forms are introduced over four years.  There would be 38 staff on site.

Hardstandings and a grassed area would be maintained as playgrounds.  Landscaping features would include new trees, shrubs and lily ponds.  A 2.4m mesh fencing would keep the site safe.

Planning permission requires the school to submit a playground management plan to ensure noise impact on surrounding properties is limited.

There would be no onsite parking for staff, pupil-related vehicles or visitors.  An existing garage will be converted to hold 20 cycles.

Numbers of school-age children in the city has risen by 21 per cent since 2001.  Within central Hove, the increase is over 100 per cent - and the number of children exceeds the 390 reception places in the area.

The same committee meeting today also approved plans to expand two other schools.  Aldrington Church of England Primary School will build three extensions, doubling the school’s capacity to 436.  Cardinal Newman Catholic School secured permission for a new building, increasing the sixth form capacity by 150.

Chair of the planning Committee Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty said:  “It’s really great to be able to approve these plans to expand the number of school places in the city. This is one of the city's most pressing issues and it’s good to see real progress.”