PLANS to build a new primary school in Rooksdown have been unanimously objected to by the parish council.
Members of Rooksdown Parish Council discussed the application, submitted by Hampshire County Council (HCC), at its meeting on Monday, and agreed to formally object to the proposals because of concerns regarding the roof of the building and parking.
As reported in The Gazette, below, if approved, HCC intends to start work building the new £6.9m school this summer, with the goal of being ready to open in September 2015.
However, Rooksdown parish councillors said they would rather the school opening is deferred by a year to ensure it is built to the best possible standard.
Councillor Ross Cavalier said: “We want the school here as quickly as possible, but we want the right school as quickly as possible.”
HCC’s plans state that the school will cater for a maximum of 210 pupils, aged from four to 11. It will start with just 30 pupils in the reception class, expanding each year until it is at full capacity.
Referring to the design, the application states there will be spaces of “varying scales” that “benefit from natural daylight and good natural ventilation, to provide versatile educational spaces.”
It adds: “The building will be constructed of brick, slate and timber boarding – a selection of tactile materials the schoolchildren can touch and interact with. The dual-pitched roofs will be finished with slate and the smaller areas of flat roof that link them together will be finished with a high-performance roofing system.”
However, Rooksdown councillors raised concerns about the flat roofs, fearing that these could attract youths to try and climb on them.
The application states that 22 parking spaces will be included in the plans, which it said is “in line with HCC requirements.”
But Rooksdown councillors were concerned that parking could be a problem, because of the lack of space for parents to drop-off and pick-up their children outside. They unanimously objected to the application for these reasons.
However, Councillor Stephen Reid, who represents Basingstoke North-West on the county council, disagreed with the decision.
He told The Gazette: “The demand for the school is high, so I’m not sure that’s a wise decision to make. In terms of the parking, I’m a firm believer in schools having drop-off and pick-up points. I have been asking for that to be built in.
“The school is going to build up from 30 pupils in the first year, so at first the demand that is placed on the school for parking will be low, but it will build up in time. What we have been negotiating with council officers is for parking to grow with the school.”
Referring to the plans for flat roofs, Cllr Reid added he had spoken to officers about creating a large overhang to prevent people climbing on the roof, installing CCTV, lights and pipes which cannot be clung on to.