New college for Woodlands Meed in Burgess Hill ahead of schedule

A brand new college for a Burgess Hill special school is due to be completed five months ahead of schedule.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 3:36 pm

West Sussex County Council has signed the contract committing up to £20m of capital funding for the new facilities at Woodlands Meed on its current playing field site in Birchwood Grove Road.

The contractor is ISG, which has a successful track record of building schools, including special schools.

Subject to planning permission being secured it is on target to complete the new college building in early December 2022, allowing students to start using it from the January 2023 term.

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All additional playing areas and external work is also due to be finished early and all within budget.

Nigel Jupp, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “This is a real milestone and we look forward to working with the school and all parties to deliver this important project.”

A planning application was submitted in November last year following a virtual consultation with Woodlands Meed’s headteacher, governors, parents and carers and staff, with widespread support for the plans. A planning decision is expected at the end of March.

The contractor will now work closely with the appointed architects Haverstock on the technical design stage of the project.

A feasibility study was carried out to look at a potential alternative site for the project. It has now been completed and the report shows the site will not provide all of the benefits initially envisaged and could delay the project by two years, so the focus will be on rebuilding the college on its current site as originally planned.