Council has ‘political will’ to purchase land for school

A COUNTY councillor says he has secured ‘political will’ to begin negotiations with a developer to buy a former pub to enable the expansion of a growing school.

Parents and children protest outside the town hall on Wednesday, June 25
Parents and children protest outside the town hall on Wednesday, June 25

Michael Cloake revealed on Monday he was confident the former Jolly Brewers pub site would be developed for the benefit of Heene First School.

In his capacity as a county councillor, Mr Cloake has been supportive of a campaign led by parents, who petitioned West Sussex County Council to consider buying the 
land for the adjacent school, due to become a primary 
next year. He said: “I am pleased to say that it is now my understanding that there is the political will from the cabinet to look at acquiring this land.

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“While the final outcome will be subject to the developer agreeing to commercial terms, having spoken with him, I am confident a fair agreement can be reached.”

The site was earmarked for a 20 flat development, proposed by Alex Whibley and ECE architects but the parents strongly opposed the plans. Speaking on behalf of the parents, Fiona McKinney said the latest news was positive but would not believe it until it actually happened. She said: “It’s great news but until it is actually confirmed, we will wait and see.”

The flats application was rejected by Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee last Wednesday after the design was likened to a ‘bar of chocolate’.

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, July 31.