New date set for opening new Barton Farm Academy
Construction of the new Barton Farm Academy Primary School has been rescheduled to begin in spring 2018, with the new school building expected to be completed by the summer of 2019.
Hampshire County Council and the University of Winchester Academy Trust, the new school's academy sponsor, agreed the new timescale after reviewing the construction progress of the Barton Farm housing development.
Developers for Barton Farm originally proposed that there would be 400 houses built in the first two years. However, only around a quarter of these have been completed since construction began in spring 2016. This construction rate is slower than the anticipated rate used to forecast and plan for school places.
Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar, said: "The latest forecast pupil data for 2018 suggests that the delay in the number of houses built at Barton Farm does not warrant the opening of the new school for September 2018.
"This is an unfortunate development, particularly as we and the University had undertaken a considerable amount of work to meet the planned opening in September 2018. However, the original schedule was subject to the developer building the houses at a certain rate, and families moving in. We are pleased that revised plans are now in place."
Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester and Chair of the University of Winchester Academy Trust, commented: "We understand that the delay to the opening date of the school will be disappointing news for parents who were hoping to apply for a place for 2018. However, we look forward to welcoming the first pupils to the beautiful new building in 2019."