PROPOSALS to extend and improve Hungerford Primary School have gone before planning chiefs.
The project aims to help cater for the significant increase in pupil numbers.
West Berkshire Council has formally applied for permission to expand the school by demolishing the disused swimming pool and building a single-storey extension to provide a new hall, studio, kitchen and admin areas.
According to the plans, this will increase the Fairview Road school’s pupil capacity from the current 420 to a maximum of 525.
A design and access statement asserts: “Capital investment in the school is vital if the local authority is to meet its statutory duty as demand for places in Hungerford continues to rise.
“There is no doubt that undertaking such an extension and improvement to existing facilities is a significant investment on the Hungerford Primary School site.”
It adds that “overall the new school entrance and facilities would give an improved perception of the school to parents and the local community”, and goes on: “The building needs to be a welcoming, comfortable place for the children where they can feel safe within an inclusive environment.
“The building should continue to provide a setting in which they can have a sense of pride which is fun to come to and a joy to use.”
Currently the school employs 23 full-time staff and this would remain the same despite the increase in pupil numbers.
A feasability study carried out before the plans were drawn up considered plans to cater for up to 630 pupils.
However, this was ultimately considered to be unnecessary and likely to have too much impact due to increased staff parking and footprint in a residential area.
The plans were drawn up following a “community consultation” involving parents and residents in July.
A local letter drop invited residents to come and see the proposals and parents were informed via the school’s newsletter and web page.
Consultation comment forms were provided at the forum to allow feedback to be recorded and taken on board and the proposals were discussed directly with some of the neighbours along Clark Gardens whose view will be affected by the development.
Hungerford Town Council has formally supported the application, which can be viewed and commented on by visiting the planning section on West Berkshire Council’s website and using the reference 15/02013/COMIND