Chichester Free School granted planning permission

Artist's impression of the converted convent which will be the home of the Chichester Free School. Picture contributed by Chichester Free School SUS-150210-120635001
Artist's impression of the converted convent which will be the home of the Chichester Free School. Picture contributed by Chichester Free School SUS-150210-120635001

Chichester Free School will at last have a permanent home to call its own after planning permission was today announced.

The new school will be built at the disued Carmelite Convent in Hunston.

Part of the old convent - located on the B2145 Hunston Road, just south of the A27 Whyke Roundabout - will be demolished and part of it will be refurbished to create a school big enough for 1,280 students from reception age through to sixth form.

Since opening in September 2013, Chichester Free School has been operating from temporary premises in Vinnetrow Business Park in Vinnetrow Road, which were expanded earlier this year to cope with additional pupils.

Despite some delays, the school hopes to move to its permanent home in Hunston by September next year, principal Guy Martin told the Observer in May.

Planning permission granted by Chichester District Council officers also allows for new access arrangements, car parking, outdoor play areas, landscaping and associated works.

Since opening just over three years ago, the free school has proved extremely popular, and currently has 570 pupils on its roll, according to the design and access statement in the planning application.

It states: “By September 2019, the school expects to have reached its full capacity with an established team of 120 teaching staff working to educate its total pupil roll of 1,280 students.

“From there on the school will remain a ‘two-form entry primary’ and a ‘four-form entry secondary’.

“The sixth form will cater for up to 150 pupils.”

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