Winchester response to Whiteley School proposal

Press Release: 29/09/2006

Winchester City Council Leader George Beckett has welcomed the news that Hampshire County Council is to carry out an investigation into the use of alternative land for a new school in Whiteley.

"I have been asking the County for some months and through a number of channels to look at using land other than at the Meadowside Leisure Centre. I have also taken two opportunities at public meetings in Whiteley over recent months to push for this approach. The feasibility study of the "Bunney" land is a step forward," he said.

"I am pleased this is now taking place because we all want a resolution. We want a school in Whiteley as much as anyone but have always said that the Leisure Centre site is not the right option as it loses open space land for good."

Cllr Beckett went on to say, "recent press comments seem to suggest that a deciding factor in the City Council's turning down of the County's request to use Meadowside was that an alternative site had not been thoroughly evaluated.

"Although we are pleased that other options are now being considered, the City Council actually turned down the County's request to use Meadowside for other reasons. The County's proposal was not supported by the community; it would significantly reduce the already small amount of recreation land according to the Hampshire Playing Fields Association; and lastly the compensation land offered by the County to the City Council for the loss of Meadowside was not acceptable as it would be too little and too far out of the centre".