£9m plan to rebuild Hillbourne Primary School in Poole

COUNCILLORS will be asked to approve multi-million pound plans to rebuild a primary school in Poole next week.

The £9 million concept of redeveloping Hillbourne Primary School, which is managed by BCP Council, was first approved by Poole council in 2018 due to concerns its layout was “not fit for purpose”.

And next week councillors will be asked to approve the construction of a single building to replace the two current teaching blocks.

Should it be approved, work on the Kitchener Crescent site will involve clearing the site to make way for a single “u-shaped”, two-storey facility.

To cover about half the cost of the project, the council has proposed constructing  as many as 100 homes on the northern and southern ends of the school site. This part of the project has yet to be progressed.

A statement submitted by the council with its application says the improved school facilities, including a new multi-purpose play area, are needed.

“The children of Waterloo and Creekmoor deserve to have a local school that is fit for purpose, where the boilers work consistently, the lighting allows them to see their work clearly, the water is drinkable (or at least not orange), the buildings are structurally sound and the windows all open,” it says.

A similar project was approved by Poole council in May 2008 but scrapped shortly after due to “a change in investment priorities”.

The application will be considered by the council’s planning committee on Thursday (July 23) with a recommendation that it is approved.

“The provision of a new school has significant social benefits for the pupils and teachers, which has wider benefits for the surrounding community,” planning officer James Gilfillan says in his report.

“In this case, the benefits are enhanced by the rationalisation of the accommodation from the existing two buildings to a single building enabling enhanced focus on the provision of education and less time on logistics.”

He says the new building would “materially enhance the learning environment”, “provide better education experience” and “inspire the pupils”.

The council has previously set a completion date of October 2021 for the project, should planning permission be granted.

Bournemouth Echo | News