Whippingham Parish Council calls new school plan ‘oblong soulless box’


Whippingham Parish councillors have objected to plans for a new primary school on the grounds of its proposed appearance. 

Councillors have questioned whether adequate planning and thought has been put into the design for the new Queensgate Foundation Primary School plan.

The plans for the two storey, 420 place school with associated landscaping in East Cowes will not be supported by Whippingham Parish Council (WPC) for a number of reasons.

In a letter submitted to the Isle of Wight Council’s (IWC) planning department, the WPC said it would not support the current design of the building as “the Island deserves a better looking school than what is being proposed it looks like an oblong soulless box”.

The WPC supports a new school on the site, but suggested the flat roof was considered a “false economy” by the IWC’s own policy.

Queensgate Foundation Primary School as it is now - Google Maps
Queensgate Foundation Primary School as it is now – Google Maps

The WPC wrote: “Councillors discussed this planning application which is in our Parish and questioned the reason the building has a flat roof, when a few years ago it was Isle of Wight’s Council Policy not to build anymore schools with flat roofs as they were very expensive to maintain, only lasted about 20 years which will give this building in future, problems and additional costs. They considered this was a false economy.”

WPC councillors also raised concerns over proper planning for the disabled access within the two storey structure, and were surprised the plan did not mention the use of rain water as grey water which could be more cost effective for the running of the school.

They also claimed that no thought has been given to reduce sun glare into classrooms in the construction of the building.

They continued: “It looks unappealing and like a box and lacks character and does not fit into the design of the area.

“Whippingham Parish Council supports a new school on the site but will not support this design of the building. It looks like a thrown together prefabricated building. The Island deserves a better looking school than what is being proposed it looks like an oblong soulless box.”

A spokesman for IWC said: “As we are both the planning department and the planning authority, we cannot comment on any planning applications.”

Developer Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd has also been approached for comment.

Queensgate Foundation Primary School were asked for their opinion on the new plans.

Comments on this application must be received by close of business on July 27. You can submit your comments online here.

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