PLANS for a new £6million school in Rooksdown have been given the green light by Hampshire County Council.

The council’s 20-strong regulatory committee voted to grant a planning application for the new 210-space Rooksdown Primary School, near Park Prewett Road, last Wednesday.

The new build will include a main hall, library and learning resource centre, as well as a grassed sports pitch and a multi-use sports area.

A total of 22 car parking spaces will be provided.

Councillor Stephen Reid, Hampshire County Councillor for Basingstoke North West, said the council will also plan to create a drop-off area for parents, after he raised concerns about a lack of parking.

The new school will be environmentally friendly, using solar panels fitted to the roof to provide energy for the building.

As previously reported by The Gazette, the scheme for the new primary school was recommended for approval by the county council in March as part of an £11million investment by the authority to increase primary school places in Basingstoke, which includes an extension to Merton Infant and Junior schools, in Popley.

Rooksdown Primary School will be led by John Martin, headteacher of Castle Hill Junior School, in Winklebury Way, Winklebury, who will split his time between the two schools.

Mr Martin said: “We look forward to the next chapter and the new school is something that will bring exciting prospects for children to come.”

It is expected that construction work will begin next month with the hope of being complete by July 2015, in time for 30 pupils to start in September next year.

Cllr Reid told The Gazette that he spoke in favour of the new school at the meeting.

He added: “I am delighted it has gone through and my priority now is to make sure it gets built so it can open for September 2015.

“There are a couple of issues we can address in the meantime, including parking, and I am anxious to see a road for a drop-off point but that can be done at a later time because the school will only open with 30 pupils.”

He added: “It (construction) will start fairly soon because the objective is to have enough of the building to operate from September next year.

“That might not be the whole building, it might just be enough to accommodate the first class and the rest will follow.”