A SCHOOL has lodged an application to construct an overflow car park on a playing field.

Ballard School, in Fernhill Lane, New Milton, wants to build the car park to support the ‘growing capacity’ of spectators at sports events.

The new car park would also ‘allow for easier flow of cars during school pick-up hours’, a design and access statement submitted by Simpson Hilder Associates on behalf of the school said.

In total, an additional 35 to 37 spaces, along with six minibus spaces, would be added to the independent school’s 123 spaces in its other car parks.

If approved, the car park would be built on the school’s southern-most playing field, accessed by an access track.

The statement said: “The proposed facilities will allow for easier flow of cars during school pick-up hours, while also benefiting the community during sporting events.

“Ballard school grounds are regularly used for community sport teams and event in the evening and during the weekend.

“The additional parking space will provide support for this growing community engagement.”

Sports matches are held at the school twice a week, and it hosts multiple sports festivals every term.

The application added that ‘on-site vehicular parking is limited’ for spectators and visiting schools, and this new car park would support this demand.

It said the risk of flooding in the car park from the nearby Ballard Lake was low.

The design and access statement concluded: “It is felt that through a careful design approach the proposals will enhance the existing site layout and allow the school to grow and become a more efficient, and rewarding space for both students, staff and visitors.”

A consultation on the plans will end on February 1. No date is set for a decision at this stage.

Earlier in 2023, the school had planning permission granted to demolish timber sheds and to build a new two-storey classroom building.

Ballard currently has around 500 pupils, aged between 2 and 16. In 2017, the school was found to ‘outstanding’ and ‘excellent’ in an inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.