Bucks Free Press 2 February 2001

School Sells Land For Houses

Headteacher Penny Castagnoli

A leading girls school has unveiled plans to sell off part of its grounds to property developers to fund a new sports hall and classroom block.

Beaconsfield High School in Wattleton Road, Beaconsfield, announced the plans to sell off the surplus land to CALA homes last week.

The seven-figure sum generated by the sale will be used to build a classroom block to replace the 12 temporary classrooms on the site, to modernise the sixth form block, to develop a performing arts area and recording studio and to construct a sports hall.

The school will be selling the former caretaker's house, which has been unused for a number of years, and surplus land in the corner of the school playing field.

The land would provide enough room for the development of eight houses next to the controversial Arjo Wiggins site in Wattleton Road.

A resident, Patricia Henry, who lives in Wattleton Road, has welcomed the plans. She said: "I think it's a very good idea to use some of the unused playing field. It's not totally ideal here in such a busy road, but more power to their elbow."

Although the plans are still subject to planning permission, headteacher Penny Castagnoli is excited by the prospect of the improvements. She said: "Progressing these exciting plans will further enable us to work with the wider community who we hope will further benefit from the significant improvement in the school's facilities. "The current initiative will go a long way towards providing an energising learning environment for all our students and staff."

The Mayor of Beaconsfield, Cllr Malcolm Dunlop, said he was very pleased with the development news. He added: "It's a very small addition to the development site but it will make a very big difference to the school. "I'm absolutely certain that this is a brilliant move by the school."

Beaconsfield High is a foundation school, which means that the teachers are employed by the board of governors, and not the Local Education Authority (LEA), meaning they have more liberty to spend the funds on new buildings.

The new developments have received the full backing of the LEA, and Deputy Headteacher Dave Preston said: "We have talked the proposals through with the council at all stages, and the cabinet member for education has supported our plans."

There is no definite date for work to begin, and the proposals are still subject to planning permission.

Is anyone else opposing CALA Homes' developments ?

The Telephone House Neighbours Association informs on CALA Homes (South) Development :
Telephone House, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1