Agenda item

Calthorpe Park School Hitches Lane Fleet

To consider a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment regarding a planning application for a 2 storey block to provide 16 classrooms and associated ancillary spaces and landscaped areas at Calthorpe Park School, Hitches Lane, Fleet (Application No. 19/02417/HCC)
(Site Ref: HRE026).


The Committee considered a report from the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment (item 6 in the minute book) regarding a planning application for a 2-storey block to provide 16 classrooms and associated ancillary spaces and landscaped areas at Calthorpe Park School, Hitches Lane, Fleet (Application No. 19/02417/HCC) (Site Ref: HRE026).

Members received an overview of the application for a further expansion to the school on land that was previously occupied by Hart Leisure Centre.  Members heard that the secondary school’s capacity needed to be increased due to substantial housing development in the area.  Diagrams reflected the planned flow of travel modes to the school and through the school grounds considering existing environmental constraints and pedestrian safety.  Naturally ventilated classrooms, a new dining hall, additional parking, and social spaces with softer landscapes would be provided keeping in mind the visual impact of the design as well as highway safety and traffic management.

The Committee received two deputations for this item.  Charlotte Gregory spoke first on behalf of the applicant and described how stakeholders (including students, staff, governors, parents, local neighbours, etc.) had been engaged to learn what was working well, what needed addressing and future aspirations.  Informal breakout spaces, driveways with a pedestrian feel, buildings with mechanical ventilation facing North and South to avoid overheating and traffic noise, wildflower borders for biodiversity, grass amphitheatre, grab and go servery, and areas for summer clubs were all part of the plans.   

Cllr Steve Forster spoke on behalf of his local area and was delighted to see this investment in secondary schooling and building on previous decisions taken by the County Council.  The expansion of this fantastic school is an essential element and reflects the population growth in the area.  The location and sustainability of the improvements are appreciated, and the engagement undertaken by the officers and school has been commendable.  While very supportive of this planning application, Cllr Forster requested minor updates to the plan, suggesting video surveillance in the bicycle storage areas to prevent thefts currently taking place in the area. 

In relation to external aspects about highway safety and access, Cllr Forster suggested reducing the speed to 20mph with flashing lights during pick up and drop off times and safer crossings.  Pedestrian access from the north is via a very narrow footpath used by over 300 children in an area of severe risk.  A bike path through the woods would encourage sustainable, environmentally friendly changes with children safely riding to school. 

During questions of the deputation, the following points were confirmed:

  • Fire safety updates from 2019 include a new hydrant and sprinkler system linked to a new mains source and the new building will be broken down into 60-minute containment compartments;
  • The woods that a potential cycle path could go through is most likely partly owned by Hampshire and some developers of the Edenbrook estate but would need further verification;
  • Existing trees on the site would remain with marginal improvements;
  • Car park lighting would need to be added;
  • On site energy production was maximised during the 2015 expansion and any further infrastructure changes would have a considerable cost;
  • Accessible parking bays would exist at several locations on the campus and a new lift installed but currently there are no wheelchair staff or students at the school;
  • A liaison panel does not currently exist, but it is up to the school to choose a model for effective engagement with the community;
  • Further details about drainage would be submitted for approval prior to construction;
  • Current plans reflect working with the school and collaborating with stakeholders to review existing video surveillance, storage, safety, lighting, and pedestrian access issues;
  • Speed restrictions are currently reduced to 40mph down from the national speed limit and any further reduction would be a separate matter for highway authority;
  • Active measures are being taken to change behaviours and improve control and flow of traffic;
  • Projected increase of the student population and the extent of the geographical catchment area could be confirmed by Childrens’ Services; and
  • Local members could make further representations and follow up directly with Children’s Services to address wider issues and any further work needed.

In debate, Members agreed that the project architects and officers had produced an excellent development and commended their hard work.  Members were happy to support the plans but also acknowledged and recognized the road safety concerns of the local councillor which could be raised through separate channels. 



Planning permission was GRANTED subject to the conditions listed in integral appendix B.

Voting Favour - 16 (Unanimous)


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