Parents of Heene First School children are to protest at next week’s planning meeting of Worthing Borough Council.
The parents object to the application to build flats on the site of the Jolly Brewers public house as they prefer the land to be used for new playing space for the school.
The Heene First School Campaign explains the land backs directly on to the school and believes demolishing the existing public house and replacing it with a three or four storey block of flats would block out the sunlight and make the playground feel smaller than it already is.
They feel the land would be perfect for Heene school to expand both the classroom and outdoor space it needs when it becomes Heene Primary School.
Lisa Ottway for the campaign said: “Heene First School is a lovely little school that serves the town centre, it has pretty good facilities and an adequate playground for our children to play in and for outdoor PE.
“However as it is now to become a primary and increase both in numbers and in physical size of pupils neither the facilities or the playground will be adequate. Obviously there will be building work for an extension and for better facilities. However this means the playground will become even smaller.
“This is why parents at Heene school have started a campaign to gain extra land situated at the back of the school. We feel for both education and health reasons it is vital that a school has suitable outdoor space for the children to run, play, explore and learn to play as a team, as well as getting the all too important bit of exercise and fresh air that we know can be lacking in many children’s lives.
“We want West Sussex County Council to provide some more money – we know it seems like they are giving the school a lot of money already. But looking at the bigger picture an extra chuck of money now will provide the town centre with a fantastic school that can continue to have an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating and will also future proof the school, allowing for a bigger intake should population grow in the future.”
The officers’ report to the Planning Committee acknowledges the concerns of the parents but states “the County Council has not made any strategic planning objection to the planning application and no necessity for the land to be acquired for the purposes of the school has been brought to the attention of the Borough Council by the County Council.”
The Planning Meeting is held in the Gordon Room, Town Hall, Chapel Road, Worthing at 6.00 pm on Wednesday June 25th.
The First Heene School Campaign can be found on Facebook.