NEW classrooms worth half a million pounds could be built to replace “damp and dilapidated” demountables.

Following claims pupils and staff were having to put on coats to go into lessons action will be taken.

Four new classrooms could be built at Chalkwell Hall Infants School to replace 40-year-old temporary buildings.

A planning application to build the new teaching block in Leigh details how the existing temporary buildings will be demolished and replaced with a two-storey building comprising of four classrooms and a breakout room.

They will also include LED lighting, solar panels, boiler room insulation and in-classroom heating controls.

The existing buildings have been at the school for 40 years and a council report published in January detailed the heating problems which even involved hats and scarfs being worn.

The current buildings are considered not fit for purpose and have little merit or historic importance, according to a report.

They are also poorly insulated.

The report states: “The new building will be in keeping with the school and would exhibit a significantly enhanced design quality and would be more efficient in the use of energy and water.”

The total cost of the project will be £485,000, with £100,000 of this coming from the school’s capital programme and £85,000 financed by an interest-free loan taken out by the school.

The remaining £300,000 was allocated to the school in Southned Council’s 2019/20 budget with £110,000 of that met through a government grant.

The remaining £190,000 will be borrowed and later covered through savings made from the improved energy efficiency of the building.

When the funding was announced, councillor Helen Boyd, cabinet member for children and learning at Southend Council said: “This project would result in modern, energy-efficient facilities that will provide a much improved and more comfortable learning environment while reducing the energy bills in the long term.”

Members of the council’s development committee will make a decision this year.