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Highcliffe School submits plan for new hall to BCP Council

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HIGHCLIFFE School has submitted plans for a new multi-use hall, sparking concerns over its size in an area dominated by bungalows.

The planning application has already led to one objection from a Smugglers Wood Road resident who said the proposed hall will be too tall, writes Trevor Bevins of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The Parkside school said the proposed new hall of 1,100 square metres will be finished in a coated metal cladding, which some neighbours have described as “industrial”.

The proposed new hall at Highcliffe School elevations (picture: Kendall Kingscott)
The proposed new hall at Highcliffe School elevations (picture: Kendall Kingscott)

It will be built, if approved by BCP Council, to the north of the main buildings on a hard-surfaced area currently used as multi-sport courts, adjacent to car parking.

The school said it would provide extra space for exams as well as indoor facilities for activities such as badminton, netball, gymnastics and circuit training.

The application said: “The proposal seeks to enhance the school facilities but does not involve a material change of use or the intensification of the activities undertaken.

"Its primary use is to extend the choice and range of all-weather sporting activities for existing pupils.”

Emails were sent out and letters delivered to around 250 people as part of an online consultation exercise which also included a website for people to view the proposals.

Feedback included concerns about the height of the building, increased noise and lights outside school hours, and potential on-street parking problems.

Some suggested moving the building to the southern playing field, further away from homes and finding space for additional parking in the school grounds.

The scheme would also add an extra 14 car parking spaces to the 84 on the site, and includes additional landscaping.

A decision by BCP Council is scheduled after the deadline for public comments on 11th September.

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