Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 12:32 UK

Seven sites found for new school

Primary school pupils (generic)
The city council said it wanted children to have schools near home

Seven sites have been identified for a new primary school to ease the pressure on places in Brighton and Hove.

The city council said there had been an unprecedented influx of young families, especially in south central Hove and on the Brighton and Hove border.

It wants to provide at least 135 new places, the equivalent of 4.5 forms, by 2011 and plans to expand Westdene, Goldstone and Queens Park primaries.

The cost of providing the new two-form entry school is between £7m and £7.5m.

But this does not include the cost of acquiring land.

'Issues and challenges'

Four of the seven sites have been identified as the front runners, including separate playing fields next to Cardinal Newman School and Leicester Villas.

The others are land at Hove Park Upper School and the park depot next to Hove Park.

The council said the only option where it already owns the land and where a new school could be built within four years is the site next to Hove Park depot.

"These sites are the most feasible options open to us, but all of these pose their own issues and challenges," said Councillor Vanessa Brown.

"Despite this we are determined to find solutions so that our children have the best education as close to their homes as possible."

Recent legislation means a competition to run the new school would be held, open to a range of bodies including faith groups.

If a new school cannot be built in time, the council will consider expanding West Blatchington and Aldrington or St Andrews.



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