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BILLERICAY: School plans £6m revamp if allowed to sell off Green Belt

By This is Essex  |  Posted: November 18, 2008

  • LIFT-OFF: Top, an artist's impression of how the school would be transformed if allowed to sell off 4.2 acres of Green Belt land, outlined above.

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MULTI-MILLION-pound plans that could rejuvenate a cash-strapped school have been unveiled.

Bosses at The Billericay School have revealed artist's impressions of how the school could look should they be allowed to sell off 4.2 acres of disused Green Belt land.

The ambitious drawings include a dining hall and a drama and music centre, as well as science and media labs.

For years the school, based off Laindon Road, has been refused permission by Basildon District Council to build 51 homes on a former farm site within the school grounds. The council said it would fly in the face of Green Belt policy and set a dangerous precedent for further development across Billericay.

But a final decision is due to be made at a planning inquiry to start on December 16.

Should it get the go-ahead the school will have around £6million to plough into a series of state-of-the-art educational buildings.

Head teacher Sue Hammond told the Gazette the school had been working on detailed long-term plans to improve the school.

She said: "Our first and urgent priority for capital investment, using funds from the sale, will be replacement of our 14 temporary classrooms with a permanent building.

"The school really needs this appeal to be successful so that we can make this much-needed investment in our children's future.

"We hope, if and when other public funding becomes available, to replace other outdated buildings with a multi-use auditorium and theatre and new teaching rooms for art and food technology.

"This would allow the school to offer our students and the wider community access to the first-class facilities and opportunities they really deserve.

"It would bring our school environment into the 21st century."

Campaigners against development have long said the farm should be kept as an educational facility, claiming important wildlife exists there.

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