PUBLIC consultation has begun on plans for multi-million pound improvements at Gillotts School in Henley.
The secondary school wants to sell part of its playing fields for housing in order to fund its own development.
Plans include a new, larger hall, a creative technologies centre, a learning support centre and refurbished science and music blocks. Sports facilities would also be improved to include a floodlit, all-weather multi-use games area.
Governors of the Gillotts Lane academy say the 3.4 hectares of land on the eastern edge of its site could accommodate 80 to 85 homes. The plans have been recommended for including in the Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan and the school will need approval for the sale from the Education Secretary.
The consultation period started yesterday (Thursday) and will end on Thursday, June 12. A letter have been sent to stakeholders and a public meeting will be held at the school next month.
In the letter, David Gorsuch, chairman of governors, said: “We have identified a potential opportunity to sell part of the school site and invest the proceeds in ensuring that the school has facilities that the Henley community can be proud of.
“We agreed that we would only sell land if doing so would not reduce the school’s sports facilities. We have found that, because we do different sports in summer and winter, we can provide the same sporting facilities we have at present on less land. We are now seeking the views of all our stakeholders on whether we should proceed with our plans to sell land.”
The work would take place during the summer holidays to avoid disruption to pupils and would take three years to complete. The public meeting will be held at the school on Tuesday, June 3, at 6pm.