Bognor Regis school set to double

Laburnum Grove
Laburnum Grove

FORMAL plans have been submitted to almost double the size of a Bognor Regis school.

West Sussex County Council wants to build eight classrooms at Laburnum Grove Junior School to cope with an influx of pupils.

Its education officers want the work done by September 2014.

But an assessment by transport experts, included with the planning application, shows the increased size will generate up to 156 extra two-way car journeys each school day. This figure fails to take in to account the number of new pupils who will be sharing cars with existing pupils or that 82 per cent of pupils will live within 1km walking distance of the premises.

The current peak traffic time is 8am-9am, with 110 two-way vehicle trips heading west on Laburnum Grove and 104 heading east.

The hour with the highest two-way vehicle flow is 3pm-4pm with an average of 109 vehicles.

A statement with the application says the work is needed because the council is aware demand for primary schools in the area will soon outstrip the number of places.

“Increased pressure on the current primary provision is partly due to a significant new housing development, known as the site six development area, moving forwards at pace,” it states.

The result will be an increase in Laburnum Grove’s capacity from the current 240 pupils to 420.

The new building to allow the expansion from two-form junior entry accommodation to a two-form primary school will have eight classrooms.

The new building will also include a large learning resource area with a small wet area, a deputy head’s office and toilets for pupils and staff. Alterations to the existing building will involve its designs being remodelled.

Two reception classrooms will be created along with a new kitchen. This will allow the existing kitchen space to become a dedicated specialist classroom. The changes will also see an open plan learning resource space formed.

“The location of the new teaching wing has manifested out of a need to make best use of the site opportunities while considering constraints such as flood risk and maximising the playing field and hard play areas,” the statement says.

The playing field will be increased by removing earth mounds and felling some trees. The 1960s school is single-storey, except for the double-height hall.