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Westcliff grammar school's modernisation plan blocked
9:00am Tuesday 5th March 2013 in Local News
A GRAMMAR school is on a collision course with council chiefs over plans to modernise its buildings.
Westcliff High School for Girls, in Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff, wants to build an extension to its sixth-form centre to give pupils more space to study.
But its leaders have run into strong opposition from Southend Council planners over the modernist design of the proposed extension, which they claim is typical of how they see the school developing in future years.
Recommending councillors reject the plans when they meet next week, Andrew Lewis, the council’s corporate director for enterprise, tourism and the environment, said: “Whilst a modern extension is not objected to in principle, it should still have a positive relationship and references to the existing building and this is not evident in the design.
“Overall it is considered that the design of this proposal is unacceptable in its current form.”
The school has repeatedly tried to extend the sixth-form block, eventually securing planning permission last year.
However, leaders have now decided the expansion needs to be bigger and become part of a “master plan” to replace all of the temporary buildings on the site with permanent structures.
The sixth-form block is based in an old Victorian house which has been converted into classrooms.
The extension, if approved by councillors at the development control committee meeting on Wednesday, will be a flat-roofed, timber-clad building with glazed tunnels connecting to the old house.
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