On Wednesday (October 14), East Sussex County Council’s planning committee approved proposals to demolish the main building of Claverham Community College and replace it with a new two-storey building.
The development is to be funded through a government funding programme, which identifies buildings described as ‘being in the very worst condition’.
The application was supported by Lib Dem Kathryn Field, both a member of the planning committee member and local councillor for Battle, although she did raise some concerns about the environmental standards of the school.
She said: “I was pleased to hear the building exceeds regulations, but I was wondering if it could actually go further than that.
“We are in a climate emergency, we do care about emissions and we do want our buildings to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
“We know this [current] building was built in 1952 and we know whenever it is built it is going to have to last for a very long time.
“The climate emergency will continue and requirements to reduce emissions will continue. It is always easier to do these things now, than retrofit in the future.”
Similar views were raised by other committee members and – after some discussion – it was agreed to put forward an additional informative condition, asking the applicant to consider strengthening energy efficiency and environmental measures.
The committee also added an informative condition related to the installation of a sprinkler system.
Cllr Field had also raised concerns around the potential loss of trees from the front entrance, pointing out that they were memorial trees to pupils who had died.
Officers said the trees could potentially be replanted elsewhere on the site and advised they would write to the applicant to ask that they make these arrangements in consultation with the pupils’ families.
While demolition and construction work takes place, a pair of three-storey temporary teaching blocks are to be placed on site, where the school’s tennis courts currently sit.
These temporary buildings should be in place for no longer than two years, the committee heard.
The new structure, meanwhile, would broadly sit on the same site as the existing building. It would not increase the school’s capacity, just replace the current building.
For further details of the proposals see RR/3420/CC on the East Sussex County Council planning website.