Council not to release land for new Whiteley school

Winchester City Council last night (Wednesday 19 July) confirmed that they would not be releasing open space land at the Meadowside Leisure Centre for Hampshire County Council and the Diocese of Portsmouth to build a new primary school.

With only one abstention, and no votes against, Councillors agreed that although there is a need for a school, Meadowside was not the right location.

Leader of the Council George Beckett said that building a new school would only be delayed by the decision, but if they had agreed to release the land, open space land would have been lost for ever.

The Council was also handed a petition of 330 signatures objecting to use of the land for a school and chairman of Whiteley Parish Council, Mr M Evans, said the County had completely underestimated the strength of feeling among residents.

Councillors were read a letter from the County Council that said if the City Council turned down the proposal, there was no other viable site in the area, central government funding would be lost and the Whiteley school project would be aborted. It would mean there would not be a new school in Whiteley for at least five years, and possibly ten.