Have your say on the proposal to increase the size of Willingdon Community School

Closed 6 Oct 2017

Opened 8 Sep 2017


What is the proposal?
East Sussex County Council is proposing to expand Willingdon Community School (Broad Road, Lower Willingdon, Eastbourne, BN20 9QX) from 1,000 places to 1,200 places, increasing the published admission number (PAN) from 200 to 240 with effect from 1 September 2020.
Why do we need to expand Willingdon Community School?
East Sussex County Council (ESCC) would like to expand Willingdon Community School to provide more places for local children and young people.  Demand for school places in the area the school serves has increased in recent years, and is likely to continue, as a result of new housing developments.  ESCC has a statutory duty to ensure there are enough school places and is therefore proposing to expand Willingdon Community School to create additional capacity.  If the proposal goes ahead additional accommodation would be provided to enable the school to expand.
Willingdon Community School is a popular school and is regularly oversubscribed.  The current PAN of 200 provides limited scope to meet parental preference in the future. 
Are there site plans to show how the school would be expanded?
ESCC is in the early stages of consulting on the proposals.  Initial scoping of the site has shown there is sufficient space for expansion.

Expansion plans are subject to planning permission.  ESCC has appointed a design team to work up plans for the expansion.  We would share their ideas with interested parties at a pre-planning consultation event at the school in autumn 2017. All stakeholders, including local residents, would have the opportunity to view the plans, ask questions and make comments.  This would enable the design team to take into consideration everyone’s views before a planning application is submitted.

How would the school deal with any possible increase in traffic and congestion
A traffic and parking assessment would be undertaken and shared with interested parties at the pre-planning consultation event mentioned above.  The school’s travel plan would need to be updated and would be utilised by the school to encourage families to find alternative ways of travelling to school in order to reduce the number of car journeys.

This consultation deals specifically with the principle of expanding the school to provide more places for local children and young people. There would be a separate consultation stage with the school and local residents, around the development of the proposed building works as part of the usual planning application procedures.  Comments on the design of the buildings, traffic and parking can be made at that stage.

Would the school need to close during building work?
No.  The building works would be planned carefully and contractors would work with the school to ensure that works are scheduled to keep disruption to a minimum.  The building site would be a secure area to ensure the health and safety of the children, young people, staff, parents/carers and visitors to the school.

How many children would be at the school once it is expanded?
It is intended that Willingdon Community School would grow gradually, with 40 additional Year 7 places offered each year until it reaches its new capacity of 1,200.

The following table illustrates how the number of places at the school might grow:


Academic Year







Reception PAN







Total number of places  








How can I give my views?
The consultation period runs until Friday 6 October 2017.

You can give your views by:

  • Completing the online survey
  • Emailing ESCC at: school.consultations@eastsussex.gov.uk
  • Printing the attached consultation document and returning a paper copy of the response form to: Catherine Denyer, Project Officer, Standards and Learning Effectiveness Service, East Sussex County Council, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1UE. 

All comments must be received by Friday 6 October 2017 or they cannot be taken into account.

If you would like a paper copy of the consultation document please contact Catherine Denyer on 01323 466886 or at catherine.denyer@eastsussex.gov.uk


What Happens Next

Following this consultation, a report setting out the responses received on the proposal to expand Willingdon Community School will be submitted to the Lead Member for Education, Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability meeting in October 2017.  The Lead Member will decide whether to proceed with the proposed expansion. 

If approved, a statutory notice would be published in the local newspaper probably in November 2017, followed by a period of four weeks (known as the representation period) when further comments or objections could be submitted.  The Lead Member would consider any responses received during the representation period before making a final decision on whether to approve the expansion at a meeting likely to be held in January 2018.

The proposed expansion would be dependent upon planning permission being granted for the building works to the school premises as outlined above.


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