County council seals more than £4m in funding to build new Horndean primary school

VILLAGERS have welcomed a council's plans to invest millions of pounds into building a new school.

Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 7:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 7:52 pm

Hampshire County Council has pledged to pay £4.84m in capital funding towards a new primary school at Hazleton Farm, Horndean.

Due to be built by September 2021, the primary school known as Hazleton Farm will form part of the supporting infrastructure for a 700-home development on land east of the village.

East Hampshire District councillor, Guy Shepherd, has welcomed the cash boost for the school – which he believes is a ‘vital’ aspect of the sustainability of the plan for new homes in the area.

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He said: ‘This is brilliant news – it’s a great sum of money.

‘This school is vital because we have got to have the infrastructure to cope with this new housing, it doesn’t work the other way around.

‘And when it is built, by 2021, it will surely help to relieve infrastructure pressures on the local community, including those currently faced by existing schools in the area.’

The funding for the project has been set aside as part of the council’s children’s services capital programme.

Another development in The News area, Welborne – which will see 6,000 homes built off Fareham – will also benefit from £7.83m in capital funding for a new primary school.

Lynn Evans, chairwoman of Horndean Parish Council, said it is ‘good to see plans moving forward’ for both the school and its partner development thanks to the HCC cash.

She said: ‘The extra places created by this new school will be important to support the children whose families move into this new 700-home development.

‘This build is one that will bring its own accompanying infrastructure – and that was always part of the plan – but it is good to see plans moving forward for it.’

Developer Bloor Homes will build the 700 properties pencilled for the land east of Horndean, after taking on the project in November last year.

Cash handed to the council from the developer will go towards funding the new school.

The cash injected into the project by the council will come from central government, as part of the county authority’s collaboration with the Department of Education in a bid to build new free schools.

Cllr Peter Edgar, executive member for education, said: ‘With our local knowledge and specialist school building expertise, we are in a unique position to balance the complex combination of government grants, developers’ contributions and locally resourced capital funding, and ensure that school places are provided in a cost-effective way, delivered on time and on budget, and continue to form part of our cohesive family of schools, county wide.’

Alongside a primary school, the 700-home development site in its entirety is expected to yield community buildings, playing fields, public open space, play areas, allotments and a multi-use games area.

East Hampshire District Council’s planning committee approved proposals for the development – close to junction 2 of the A3(M) – at a meeting in April, 2015.

Bloor Homes is expected to submit a detailed planning application for the site later this year.