NEW plans to open Bournemouth and Poole’s first free school in a town office block have been drawn up.

After missing out in their bid to buy Homelife House at the Lansdowne last year, the people behind Parkfield School are now hoping to make nearby Dorset House their temporary base.

Dorset House was previously used by Bournemouth Council’s children’s services department but has been vacant for around four years.

If planning permission is granted, Parkfield School intends to open this September, taking in a maximum of 364 pupils at first and then increasing this to a maximum of 476 in 2014/15.

The Government has also agreed to build a brand new purpose-built school in the centre of Bournemouth for Parkfield’s permanent base. Once this has been built, pupil intake will gradually be increased to a maximum of 784 for 2018/19.

The planning application states: “The ultimate vision for Parkfield School is to provide a 784-place all-through school that will have a catchment area covering both Bournemouth and Poole.

“The requirement for additional reception places from 2013 and beyond is very high and the provision of this free school will help to ease some of the pressures of an ever-increasing younger population.

“Parkfield School will be a school for the whole community in which children from Bournemouth or Poole can apply for a place.

“The school will also provide a greater choice of education for parents in the area and will offer a comprehensive parent involvement programme to allow parents to become an integral part of their child’s education.”

No changes to the outside of Dorset House are proposed but inside, all floors will be refurbished.