Horsham college hopes to set up temporary classrooms while RAAC is removed

Collyers Potakabins. Image: GoogleMapsCollyers Potakabins. Image: GoogleMaps
Collyers Potakabins. Image: GoogleMaps
A Horsham college has asked permission to set up a couple of temporary classrooms while panels of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) are removed from its site.

A planning application from Collyer’s, in Hurst Road, has been submitted to the district council.

A design statement submitted with the application said: “The college approached Portakabin Ltd to install quick turn-around buildings to allow for the removal of RAAC panels which were identified as unsafe during the inspection of the existing buildings.

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“These panels need to be removed as soon as possible, as if they remain in place, they will become more defective with time and can cause danger to life.”

Raac is a lightweight, cheaper alternative to regular concrete which was used mostly in flat roofing, but also in floors and walls, between the 1950s and 1990s.

It has a lifespan of about 30 years and is aerated or ‘bubbly’.

It is also susceptible to structural failure when exposed to moisture.

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Collyer’s carried out a survey in the summer of 2023 which resulted in a report saying there was no evidence of RAAC.

But a different survey, which forms part of the college’s annual maintenance programme, uncovered a small area in one building which was found to contain the concrete.

If the plans for three temporary buildings are approved, they will be in place for up to three years.

The office will be used by staff and the classrooms by around 100 students.

To view the application, log on to public-access.horsham.gov.uk and search for DC/24/0664.

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