A SCHOOL in the New Forest has put forward plans to address a "significant shortfall" in assembly and dining space.

Ringwood School has submitted an application to New Forest District Council to build a new assembly hall and relocate parking spaces on the site.

Students at the academy currently use the main hall for dining, theatrical productions, assemblies and exams.

If approved, the new building will allow the school to use the existing hall solely as a dining area.

A statement submitted on behalf of the school by planning consultants Luke Beck says the current arrangement leads to "inevitable clashes" between the hall's functions which "significantly" restrict the operation and timetabling at the establishment.

"The Ringwood School has an urgent need to address a significant shortfall in suitable assembly/dining space," the statement says.

"A number of options have been explored, investigating the best possible layout of spaces, including extending and adapting the existing dining and kitchen facilities.

"However, due to various restrictions, costs, presence of below ground services and other complexities, the current proposals are the most effective and provide an opportunity to create a synergy of use, minimising the size of new build required."

The new car park would be located on an area of existing hardstanding accessed from parsonage Barn Lane, with only staff members using it during term times.

Government support has been received for the proposals, according to Luke Beck's statement.