Public information event about proposed £4.9m Brockenhurst College building project

Public information event about proposed £4.9m Brockenhurst College building project

Local residents have been invited to view plans for a proposed £4.9m building project at Brockenhurst College during a public information event on April 26 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm in the College’s Main Hall.

Guests will be able to view 3D imagery, study specifications, watch a presentation and ask any questions they may have about the proposed development, which would open in 2023.

Plans for the single-storey, modular structure at the rear of the College’s main campus in Brockenhurst are currently at the pre-planning stage with New Forest National Park Authority.

The application is for a 1,200 square-metre building incorporating a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Independence Hub. The structure would also house the College’s existing Foundation Studies department.

Under the plans, there would be ten new classrooms, social space, staff space, meeting rooms, a medical room, a hygiene room, and a sensory room, among other facilities.

Importantly, creating a dedicated facility for SEND learners and Foundation Studies students would free up existing facilities to help accommodate the expected influx of extra students.

Funding of £4m is being provided from the Department for Education (DfE) £83m Post-16 Capacity Fund, which is earmarked for accommodating a forecast spike of around 260,000 additional 16-19-year-old learners from 2023.

The DfE award has been made possible through match funding of £0.9m by Hampshire County Council under its Living Futures project, aimed at establishing SEND Independence Hubs across the county to help learners develop independent living skills.

A key planning condition is that the structure must meet a Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) standard of Very Good.

The new building would sit alongside the College’s STEM Centre, which opened in 2017 and received a certificate of high commendation in the 2019 New Forest National Park Design Awards.

Vice Principal Limor Feingold said: “We have an ambitious timetable and are aiming for the new building to be completed by 31 March 2023. We would like the Brockenhurst community to be part of this exciting project and are holding a public information event to start the ball rolling.

“The new development would help us build on our strong reputation as a provider of SEND and Foundation Studies education, while also expanding our teaching space to support the ongoing demographic increase in 16-19 learners.”

A statutory public consultation process will begin once the application reaches the substantive planning stage.

When that time comes, you will be able to see full details on the New Forest National Park Authority website at https://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/planning/