WORK to build a new primary school in Poole could begin as soon as next month after plans were given unanimous approval by BCP Council’s planning committee.

Proposals to construct a replacement for the “no longer fit for purpose” buildings at Hillbourne Primary School were approved by councillors on Thursday.

The decision was welcomed by Creekmoor councillor Judy Butt who said it ended a “long, hard and sometimes bitter” battle for improvements.

Plans to replace the existing two teaching blocks with a single, more modern facility were first considered by Poole council in 2010 but scrapped when the funding was reallocated.

In 2018 a new £9 million scheme was put forward with the inclusion of “up to 100” homes being built on the edges of the school grounds to part-subsidise the project.

BCP Council submitted a planning application last year and this was considered by its planning committee on Thursday.

It proposed building a new single block between the two existing buildings before they are demolished. New multi-use games areas were also included in the plans.

Councillors were asked to grant planning permission after being told the scheme had “significant social benefits”.

And this recommendation was followed unanimously, despite minor concerns about the loss of hedgerow at the front of the school site.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Butt, who has long been a supporter of plans to rebuild the school and was a member of the committee, said she was “delighted” by the decision.

“Residents, teachers, parents, children and Creekmoor, Hillbourne and Waterloo Ward councillors have historically fought a long, hard and sometimes bitter battle to get a new school for our children.

“Today is a major success for the whole community to finally reach the present stage of planning in the development and build, all credit to council officers for a sound application.

“We now look forward to a bright future in which Hillbourne School will be recognised as the forward-looking, successful and desirable school it has always been, in its fit-for-purpose new school building.”

A spokesman for the council said they “anticipated” work to build the new school would begin next month and would be followed by the construction of the housing in spring or summer 2022.