MAJOR plans to increase pupil intake at a village primary school in Christchurch have been revealed.
Dorset County Council is planning to add an extra three classrooms at Burton Primary School, making it two forms per year group.
It is anticipated the project – expected to cost around £1million – will see an extra 150 pupils added to the school’s intake.
The move follows a rise in pupil numbers in the Christchurch area, and is one of “a number of extension projects” the local education authority is looking at.
A consultation took place at the Campbell Road-based school with parents and residents, which revealed a number of concerns including parking, access and the loss of open space.
Although the three new classrooms will be built on existing school land, part of the open space will be taken back to extend the playing field.
Previously the land had been considered for housing but consent has never been granted.
Paul Scothern, children’s services premises commissioning manager said: “We are aware that there are a lot of people unhappy about the loss of that space and we will look at what we can do to address that.”
He said they were also trying to increase staff parking space.
Chairman of Burton Parish Council, Judy Jamieson said: “The village would be saddened at the loss of this space which is part of our local amenity.
“We are also concerned about the proposed increase in the school numbers as it would appear there is no provision for car parking.”
The council has applied to Christchurch council – the local planning authority – to install a temporary classroom until the work is completed.
A full planning application is likely to be submitted by the end of June with a likely completion date of September 2015.
Talks will be unaffected
Work to build a new school in West Christchurch will remain unaffected by the separate plans for Burton school.
Talks with a land owner are continuing for the £6.7million school in the west of the borough, but Mr Scothern, said: “It is too early to say what timescales we will be working towards with the new school.”
Temporary classrooms at Christchurch Infants School, put in place to deal with extra pupils, will be in place until September 2015.