AN £11million plan to build a new primary school in Basingstoke and extend another has moved forward today.

Members of a panel at Hampshire County Council have recommended six schemes for approval, before a final decision is made on April 10.

The schemes include a £6.6million plan to build a 210-place primary school in Rooksdown, and a £4.4million extension to Merton infant and junior schools, in Romsey Close, Popley.

As reported in The Gazette, the new school in Rooksdown will be run by John Martin, headteacher of the top-performing Castle Hill Junior School, in Winklebury.

If approved by council leader Councillor Roy Perry, work is expected to be completed by July 2015.

Earlier this month, Mr Martin, who will split his time between the two schools, said the Rooksdown school will grow slowly, with a goal “to provide a world-class education”.

The extension to the Merton schools in Popley would increase capacity by 210 places.

The project includes building three new classrooms for the infant school and four new classrooms for the junior schools, as well as studios and enlarged staff areas.

The council’s buildings, land and procurement panel supported six schemes in Hampshire, together worth just under £23million, to address an increase in demand following a rising birth rate, new housing developments and more families coming into the county.

Councillor Peter Edgar, executive member for education, said: “This is very good news for schools and children.

“We’re working hard to increase capacity at primary schools in areas where demand is greatest, ensuring there is sufficient provision for young families who move into the area.”

Funding for the schemes will come from Government grants, developer contributions and the county council’s resources. The other schemes are in Andover, Dibden Purlieu, Fareham and Farnborough.