Decision due on new sports hall for Lancing primary school

A Lancing primary school is hoping to get permission for a new sports hall to meet the needs of an increased number of pupils.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 3:41 pm
Proposed design of the new school sports hall

Seaside Primary School in Freshbrook Road hopes to build a new sports hall to include an accessible toilet, two changing rooms and a store for outdoor equipment.

The application, which was submitted by the New Horizons Academy Trust, is set to go before Adur District Council’s planning committee tonight (December 6).

The school increased in size from 420 to 630 pupils in 2014 and its 21 classes each need two hours of PE a week to meet the national curriculum.

The school’s playing field is used for PE during the summer months but, when the weather is wet or cold, pupils have to use the school hall which also doubles up as a lunch hall.

Headteacher Lee Murley said: “We simply do not have enough space for 42, hour-long indoor PE sessions to happen each week.

“At present we are having to have classes double up on sessions with up to 60 children using the main hall at one time.

“This is less than ideal as it is too cramped and negatively impacts on the

activities and curriculum that can be taught.

“A new sports hall this will enable us to fully deliver the curriculum that we

are so proud of and have worked so hard to develop – regardless of the weather.

“It will mean that all children can get at least 2 hours of PE a week all year round – healthy children are happy children!”

Designers say the building would have a ‘light appearance’ with a light grey roof.

But the plans received 19 letters of objection, some from residents of nearby  Seaside Close, Seaside Road and Seaside Avenue, and one from Lancing Parish Council.

Residents were mainly concerned with the proximity and height of the building – which comes in at nearly nine metres – and they say it would overlook their bungalows.

Seaside Primary did identify an alternative location for the hall, further away from the properties, but said this was not ideal as it was less accessible to junior students and ground levels could pose construction problems.

Public consultation took place and a redesign saw the entrance relocated away from neighbouring properties; the building moved further away from the

western boundary; and the building now ‘turns its back’ on adjacent residential properties.

Despite this, the amended plans received 14 letters of objection with some saying the building is ‘more like a warehouse than a sports hall’.

Lancing Parish Council said a ‘potential increase in noise and traffic’ could be ‘a step too far in an already difficult location’.

However, the building will only be used for existing pupils and will not be used outside of school hours, save for extra-curricular activities up until 6 pm.

Planning officers have recommended the plans for approval with conditions.

They said the new sports hall would meet the goals of the local plan as it ‘improves education facilities’.

“While it remains a relatively tall structure, it is considered that its position close to the existing school buildings and set back from the road (both from Old Salts Farm Road and Seaside Avenue) reduces its impact sufficiently and it will not cause undue visual harm to the area,” the officers said.

“On balance, it is considered that the amendments to alter the roof shape and the moving of the building further east are sufficient to overcome previous concerns.”

The building will also be energy and water efficient, with air source heat pumps.

More information can be found at the Adur planning portal using reference: AWDM/1732/21.