Local Councillors met recently with Turing House School’s Colin Mackinlay (Headteacher) and Beverley Sanders (Vice Chair of Governors).
We were briefed on the current situation and the projected timeline and were able to ask a number of questions.
The main surveys have been completed on the Hospital Bridge Road site in Heathfield and the sale is on track for completion. The construction of the school will be put out for tender. The planning permission application process will be undertaken by the winning construction company. It is expected the application will be sent to the Council in the Spring of 2018. If successful the school would open on the permanent site, after a 75 week build, in September 2020.
A traffic plan is to be prepared by an independent consultancy engaged by the Education Funding and Skills Funding Agency.
A roundabout will be built on the current nursey carpark – with the nursery moved back to accommodate it. At present only 10% of students are driven to school by their parents. This is not expected to rise once the school opens on a permanent site.
Turing House School’s Board of Governors have no plans at present to re-examine the admission ratio (80/20%). We were assured that every application for a place for students from Whitton and Heathfield had been accepted. The school’s representatives promised that should this no longer be the norm, a change to the ratio would be considered.
A British Cycling approved cycle track that could be sited on the school’s perimeter is being seriously considered. This would be a part of Project Ride Safe, whose circuits provide opportunities for the young, the old and the disabled to gain confidence before they take to the open road.
We were promised that there would be full public consultation sometime after the completion of the sale and before the planning application stage.