Portsmouth school will be demolished
A CITY school will be demolished to make way for a new building able to accommodate more than 100 extra students.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of plans to knock down Arundel Court Infant and Junior Schools and replace them with a new three-storey building.
Situated between Holbrook Road and Arundel Street, as reported the new building will have room for 630 pupils, 20 per cent more than its current 525.
Pupils will be able to continue lessons as usual with the new classrooms built on the schools’ playing fields. The old school will then be torn down and replaced with a playground.
Some residents of Chatfield House which overlooks the school objected to the proposals.
At Wednesday’s planning committee Gillian Ericson said: ‘Every time we open our curtains all we see are the trees and the sky. Now all we are going to look at is the school.
‘And the road next to the school is already so crammed with cars and lorries going down there. We have got no objection to the school being built, it’s just where it’s going to be built.’
Her neighbour Bridget Gregory added: ‘That is the only area of green we have got, children play there on weekends. We just think that is the wrong area to build it.’
Speaking on behalf of the agent, Tim Spencer said: ‘The building site is a reasonable distance from Chatfield House, at 22 metres. And we are proposing additional tree planting.
‘It will be an excellent new school for children and it is in accordance with national rules.’
All councillors voted in favour of the new school. However, Cllr Lynne Stagg said: ‘I have great sympathy for the residents but I can’t see an alternative. As long as they replace some of the greenery that is going to be lost.’
Cllr Donna Jones added: ‘I completely sympathise with the residents, I really do. But in the last few years over 1,000 new school spaces were needed in the city. This is really one of the last Portsmouth schools needing more spaces.
‘I am pleased the council was able to secure the government funding for this.’