PLANS to spend £14.5m to build a new eco-friendly primary school in Basingstoke have been given the go-ahead.

Hampshire County Council has approved spending the money to build the new low-carbon Hounsome Fields Primary School for 420 children aged between four and 11, and eight pupils with special educational needs.

The new school will be a Climate Change Primary School Pilot project and has been assessed against the county council’s climate change targets of being carbon neutral by 2050, designed to be resilient to overheating and flooding.

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Its design will have many eco features including:

  • A high-performance planted ‘green’ roof to help protect it from heat and to support biodiversity
  • A ground-source heat pump heating system will be laid beneath the playing fields
  • Highly insulated and air-tight building construction with solar control triple glazing and a whole building ventilation system
  • Energy efficient lighting and heating controls; and low water-consumption.

The school is being built to meet the anticipated increase in demand for primary school places in Basingstoke as a result of new homes being built in two residential developments at Hounsome Fields and Basingstoke Golf Course, both on the A30 Winchester Road.

It will be built to the northeast of the Hounsome Fields development, just west of the A30, in a three-hectare site that will allow for future expansion if required.

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The two-storey building will include 14 classrooms, provision for children with special educational needs, a hall, studio, library, informal play areas, staff car park with 40 bays, two playing fields, an all-weather footpath, and three covered bicycle and scooter storage areas.

Access for vehicles will be via Treetop Avenue while pedestrian access will be via new footpaths and cycleways connecting the site to the Hounsome Fields development.

Cllr Steve Forster, the county council’s executive member for education, said: “These plans will help us to lead the way in creating education buildings for the future, not only to serve the needs of Hampshire’s children, but also to support and protect the environment for years to come.”

A decision to approve the spending was made on July 11 at the council’s Decision Day meeting for the executive member for education.

A final planning decision is due to be made in September, with plans for the school to open in September 2025. It will be run by an academy, appointed by the Department for Education.

The site and funding for the new school have been provided by developer contributions secured by the county council as part of the planning approval process for the two new housing developments.

Funding for the school will come directly from the Government and managed by an academy trust.