Council will buy pub site to expand school

The parents signed a petition to kick-start the council's action

The parents signed a petition to kick-start the council's action

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A CAMPAIGN urging the county council to buy land to expand a growing school has been won.

West Sussex County Council has agreed to purchase the Jolly Brewers site, in Clifton Road, Worthing, for the use of Heene First School.

Parents and residents collected 2,000 signatures in a petition, urging the council to buy the land.

Worthing Pier county councillor Michael Cloake said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to agree the purchase of this site and know that the school is committed to working with the local community to find the necessary funds to create a playground in the future.”

The land, next to the school, was earmarked for development by Alex Whibley but a planning application was rejected - one councillor even likened the designs to a bar of chocolate.

Councillors and officers have been working behind the scenes for months to negotiate the purchase of the land.

West Sussex County Council cabinet member for education and skills, Jeremy Hunt, said: “We have listened carefully to the school’s governing body and have for some time been looking at various options which would enable the school to have the additional outdoor space it needs.

“Discussions are ongoing with Worthing Homes to reconfigure an adjoining piece of land in order for the school to be able to make best use of the new site.”

The decision is subject to the usual call-in period and will be confirmed on October 30.