Havant college unveils plans for a new teaching block to meet growing student demand

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A Havant college has said it needs to build a new teaching block as it expects student numbers to surge in the coming years.

Havant and South Downs College (HSDC) want to build the new three-storey block at its Havant campus and has submitted a planning application to Havant Borough Council, seeking permission for the plans which also includes eight new car parking spaces and 14 new cycle spaces along with new fencing and landscaping work. In documents, the college said the building is needed to accommodate an ‘expected demographic increase’ in the number of 16-19 year olds. It added that the government has pledged extra funding for schools and colleges which accommodate 16- to 19-year-olds at the 2021 Spending Review.More than 1,000 students currently attend the college campus in New Road and this building would be for a further 270 students in the future, documents said.

Emily Warner, of Smith Jenkins Planning and Heritage, said in the proposal: “After a successful bid, HSDC were awarded a £3.5 million share of the 2023/24 capital investment which will be used to construct a new teaching building and provide further provision of parking/cycle storage. The development is necessary to extend the campus to allow for the college to support future pupil growth and provide a more modern and suitable facility that will meet educational needs and improve the college’s teaching facilities.

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“The investment will ensure the continued support of the excellent teaching and academic performance achieved by students at HSDC Havant. The proposed building will use high-quality materials, sustainable and appropriate design, providing a landmark and highly sustainable building that meets the standards of modern-day education.”

Proposed new teaching blockProposed new teaching block
Proposed new teaching block

To retain the existing trees, maintain the emergency vehicle access route, and maximise building form, the building will be set back and three storeys high. The proposed new teaching building will be situated in the southeast corner of the campus, adjacent to the sports hall (north) and business block (west) on an ‘underutilised’ open area of land. The increase in journeys by staff and new students to the campus would be ‘negligible’, according to Julian Hudson of Scott White, Hookins who compiled the transport document.

He said: “The development will not result in a severe cumulative impact on the highway network and will not lead to highway safety concerns.”

That said, policies to use cycling and promoting public transport are being encouraged while controlling the use of cars by students. As for collisions, the report said a total of 21 incidents were recorded from 2019 to 2021 in the search area selected; including no fatal crashes, five causing serious injury and 16 causing slight injury. The transport document also said limiting the number of days a student is on campus to three days per week will help manage traffic and travel issues.

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The proposed palette of building materials has been selected to provide high-quality, durable, and low-maintenance finishes for the new building. There is brickwork with relief texture to the first storey and aluminium panel cladding powder coated in coordinating colours. There is distinctive feature signage in illuminated built-up letters HSDC. Aluminium framed windows powder coated in coordinating colour and aluminium brise soleil. The proposal includes the impact of the development on all technical matters including impact on residential amenity, design, highways, drainage, landscape, trees, biodiversity and sustainability. Comments on the application APP/23/00928 can be made until January 15.