Preferred location for new Arun secondary school revealed

The preferred site for a new secondary school is site F on the edge of Yapton. Lib Dem James Walsh felt it was important they had a Plan B. He was told decisions had to be made in conjunction with the county council.
The preferred site for a new secondary school is site F on the edge of Yapton. Lib Dem James Walsh felt it was important they had a Plan B. He was told decisions had to be made in conjunction with the county council.

The preferred location for a new secondary school serving Arun pupils has been revealed.

West Sussex County Council has stated the need for a new school in the eastern Arun area with developers identifying 11 sites on land within their control that could potentially be used.

Sites at Ford and Yapton were identified as potentially suitable and consultants Systra were commissioned by Arun District Council to undertake a study of the shortlisted options.

Arun District Council has now identified the ‘site F’ on the northeastern periphery of Yapton, abutting the boundary of a strategic allocation for 1,500 homes, as its preferred option.

The issue is due to be discussed by the council’s planning policy sub-committee on Wednesday February 27, where members will be asked to support the preferred option.

According to officers at Arun: “It is important to note that at this stage, the site is only being allocated and will still be subject to all necessary feasibility, design, consultation, planning and statutory processes.

“A subsequent planning application will need to be made either by the developer of the secondary school or West Sussex County Council.”

The SD8 strategic site, which is allocated in Arun’s local plan for up to 1,500 new homes, effectively occupies the former Ford Airfield site.

The proposals include several new estate roads through the site which effectively become link roads connecting with Ford Lane at two locations to the north and the B2233 Yapton Road to the south.

According to officers: “The Option F site would effectively be served by the new link roads through SD8 and use these to access the public highway at Ford Lane and Yapton Road.

“SD8 therefore has the potentially to significantly alter existing local traffic patterns by diverting traffic via the new links roads and generating a significant volume of trips.”

A report by Systra identified a site south of Yapton Road ‘Option L’ as the ‘most favourable site for a secondary school’ as it could be delivered independently without being reliant on other schemes and was the most favourable in terms of traffic impact.

However Arun officers explained that the owner of site L ‘has confirmed on several occasions that they do not wish for their site to be considered for a secondary school’.

Their report said: “Officers will begin addressing the key mitigation measures identified in the study in order to progress the allocation. Linkages between the strategic allocations and Site F should be included in the masterplanning of the strategic sites to ensure safe cycleways and footpaths are provided.”