School’s expansion plans get go-ahead

PLANS to expand a popular Eastbourne primary school to provide more spaces for pupils have been given the go-ahead.

A recent meeting of East Sussex County Council’s Lead Members for Children’s Services signalled the green light to plans for the expansion of The Haven Primary School in Atlantic Drive.

The decision means the school will be able to accommodate an increase in the pupils it admits each year from 30 to 60.

The expansion of The Haven is the first step in plans to increase the capacity of primary schools in Eastbourne.

Cllr David Elkin, the council’s Lead Member for Learning and School Effectiveness, said, “The issue here is a significant one.

“In recent years we have seen a large increase in the birth rate in the town and this has put real pressure on primary school places.

“We are working hard to address the issue and one part of the solution is to expand the Haven, which is a popular and regularly over subscribed school.”

While this would help ease the pressure on school places, other longer term solutions would be considered to increase the capacity of schools in the town, he added.

Cllr Elkin said, “We know this is only part of the solution.

“However, there is a question mark over whether the increase in birth rate is a long term situation which will need lots more school places permanently or whether it’s a short term situation we need to manage.

“We are reviewing our longer term pupil number forecasts before we can make any more substantial plans or commitments.”

The Haven CE/Methodist Primary School is located within the Sovereign area of Eastbourne which is a projected area of growth. A planning application will be submitted once the design is finalised and it is anticipated that construction will start in the autumn.