New school in development west of Chichester given thumbs up

Councillors have approved plans for a primary school to be built as part of the ongoing first phase of the West of Chichester Strategic Development Location.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 4:35 pm
Proposed new school within the Whitehouse Farm development west of Chichester

Outline permission for a development of 750 homes and a mixed use Local Centre on land west of Centurion Way was given in 2018, with the school forming part of that permission.

During a meeting of the planning committee on Wednesday (November 3), members gave the nod to the appearance, layout and scale of the building as well as a 20mph road providing access to the school.

The school will start life as a one-form entry – taking in one class of children per year group – but is expected to expand to two-form entry once the second phase of the development begins.

The L-shaped building will contain seven classrooms for children in Reception through to Year 6, a nursery, kitchen, assembly hall and various other facilities.

It will include air source heat pumps for heating and hot water as well as solar panels – though some councillors wondered why more panels could not be installed and others felt a green roof could have been included as well.

A spokesman for applicants Miller Homes Ltd and Vistry Group Ltd said the school would be a ‘key part of the infrastructure for the new West of Chichester community’.

John-Henry Bowden (Lib Dem, Chichester West) liked the fact that the plans did not include a pick-up/drop-off point in an effort to encourage parents not to drive their children to school.

He called the idea ‘bold’ and a ‘sensible approach to take’, though others wondered if it would simply lead to chaos at the beginning and end of the school day if parents chose not to take the hint.

To view the application, log on to publicaccess.chichester.gov.uk/online-applications and search for /21/00461/REM.