School submits plan for smaller building on Hove site

Posted On 11 Apr 2014 at 8:13 pm

A primary school has submitted revised plans for a smaller building on the site of a depot on the edge of Hove Park.

The oversubscribed Bilingual Primary School, based in temporary premises which it has outgrown in Falmer, wants to put up a two-storey building on land below the Engineerium.

Its original plans, withdrawn last year, were for a three-storey building.

The architects ECE said: “The new school will represent a significant investment in education provision in Brighton and Hove.

“The proposals will provide a dedicated and permanent home for the Bilingual Primary School which, upon opening in 2012, became the first free school in Brighton and Hove and has attracted acclaim as a pioneering and successful school.

“This application represents significant revisions to the previous scheme.

“These revisions have been implemented to address those concerns previously expressed by Brighton and Hove City Council and local residents.

“These revisions therefore primarily focus of the scale, appearance and massing of the proposed building including the reduction in height from three storeys to two storeys throughout and amendments to the footprint of the building.”

The architects said that there had been “extensive evaluation of the current quality of the site and the contribution that it makes to the setting, appearance and character of the Engineerium Conservation Area”.

They said that the current site – a disused council depot – had “a detrimental impact on the setting of the conservation area and listed buildings”.

ECE added: “The development of a high quality contemporary primary school on the site will enhance the setting and character through the removal of an unsightly and underdeveloped site within the conservation area.”

The council formally set aside the land for a school in April 2010. The decision was taken by ward councillor Vanessa Brown when she was the cabinet member for children and young people in the previous Conservative administration.

The revised plans for the site went on show at Hove Rugby Club in Hove Rec at the end of February.

Some local residents have since written letters to the Argus newspapers suggesting that the site be given over to much-needed council housing if the school proposal is rejected.

The council has already given planning permission for the light industrial buildings on the site to be demolished.

And given the current financial and housing pressures faced by the council, a social housing scheme along the lines of Park House, at the opposite corner of Hove Park, could be feasible.

The council is expected to decide the primary school planning application by the end of June.

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