Work set to get going on building £8m new school

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CONSTRUCTION of a new £8m school in Waterlooville will begin this summer.

Developer Grainger has announced that full planning permission has been granted for a 420-place primary school at Berewood, which is the name of the 2,550-home estate it is currently building to the west of the town.

The school will be located near phase one of the development, on what will be known as Grainger Street.

Catering from ages four to 11, it will have a number of facilities which will be available for the community to use.

These include a main hall, a music and drama studio, a ‘discovery point’ comprising a library and computer resource centre, and a food technology room.

Chris Fletcher, development project manager at Grainger, said, ‘We’re excited that planning permission has been granted for the school as it will be a significant addition to the community that we are creating.

‘We cannot wait for the construction to get under way in the next few months, and to see the school operating within this exciting project.’

As reported, two months ago the Department of Education announced it wanted to establish a new academy primary school in Waterlooville.

The school will be sponsored by the University of Chichester because it scored the highest in assessments by Hampshire County Council.

It will cater for children from the new Berewood estate to the south, as well as the 450-home Old Park Farm development off Hambledon Road.

George Hollingbery, MP for Waterlooville, said: ‘I am extremely happy it’s going ahead. The development needs it.

‘It’s a substantial development and eventually there will be another primary school.

‘It’s to be expected with that many people coming on board.

‘It’s potentially another two or three thousand kids.

‘I’m glad the structure is coming forward as planned.’

He added: ‘It doesn’t always happen like this, so it’s very pleasing.’

Construction is expected to take one year, with the first pupils being welcomed in September 2014.

The school will have around 20 full-time staff and 42 part-time employees.

As part of its agreement with Havant and Winchester councils, Grainger has promised to also build a new community centre.