School’s ambitious rebuild plans refused by council

The planning committee was told the main buildings at Chailey School were 'unfit for purpose'
The planning committee was told the main buildings at Chailey School were 'unfit for purpose'

Plans for a fresh start at Chailey School, where fears have been raised about the presence of asbestos, have been rebuffed.

Permission to demolish and replace the main buildings was refused by Lewes District Council’s Planning Applications Committee.

It was considered the design and appearance of the development would have an unacceptable and detrimental impact on people living nearby, with overshadowing and loss of privacy.

The committee agreed not enough provision had been made for adequate visibility at the junction of the proposed temporary access road with Mill Road, meaning safety would be compromised.

Members agreed with planning officers that adequate adequate information had not been submitted to satisfy the authority that the proposal was acceptable in terms of vehicle and pedestrian access, visibility splays, parking, road construction, road gradients, surface water drainage, and on-site turning facilities.

Applicant Bowmer and Kirkland had sought permission to develop a new two- and part three-storey school building, a Multi Use Games Area and a temporary access point for construction purposes.

The committee heard the main school buildings are deemed ‘unfit for purpose due to the possible presence of asbestos, poor condition of the WCs, fractured brickwork and decaying external timber, all of which would have been prohibitively costly for the school’s maintenance budget’.

The council had received 10 letters of objection from people living near the school and a letter from a planning consultant, on behalf of local residents, objecting on grounds including impact on sunlight and daylight, overshadowing, poor palette of materials, lack of vernacular form, propsed use of non-native planting and poor design.