‘Visionary’ plan for Southbourne schools shelved


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Two new primary schools to be built in Portsmouth after £12m funding is secured

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THE head of Bourne Community College says she is disappointed that proposals to build a ‘learning village’ have been shelved due to overwhelming opposition from residents.

Margaret Eva said plans to move Southbourne infants and juniors, as well as the library and Age Concern, onto her school’s site had been ‘misunderstood’.

The Bourne Community Trust – which counts the school and Chichester District Council among its members – proposed selling off the infant and junior schools’ land to free up £39m to build an all-through primary and refurbish the secondary.

Mrs Eva explained the new hub would result in longer library opening hours, sharing resources like catering and create an environment where children could work with the elderly.

She said: ‘It was a great opportunity but it was misunderstood.

‘This is not about empire building – it’s about our students having state-of-the-art facilities. At a time when there’s no money to build schools, we were being visionary.’

Her chairman of governors John Southgate, who also chairs the trust, revealed the plans had taken three years and £25,000 to draw up. He admitted there would be a ‘rethink’ after a questionnaire he commissioned showed many residents objected.