Fringe Box



£4m Extension Plan For Ash Manor School

Published on: 20 Feb, 2020
Updated on: 20 Feb, 2020

By David Reading

Anxiety over the housing explosion in Ash and Tongham may be alleviated – at least to some degree – by new development plans for Ash Manor School.

A total of 1,750 new homes have been allocated for the area in the Guildford Local Plan, potentially putting immense pressure on existing schools.

Now Surrey County Council is considering an ambitious project in which a new £4 million block will be built at the front of the school.

An artist’s impression on the proposed extension at Ash Manor School.

The new block will primarily be for performing arts but will also house two science labs, with the current performing arts areas to be converted into classrooms. The plans include increasing Ash Manor’s intake at entry level by 30 pupils.

Headteacher Agnes Bailey told me that the performing arts block would not only serve the school but also would have community use such as the Brownies, karate and yoga. Local groups will be able to put on a show at affordable prices in a professional space.

She said: “The performing arts are tremendously important for young people. They can build up confidence and teamwork, not only as far as the performers are concerned but also those working backstage, who are equally important. The ability to stand up and perform in front of an audience can be a tremendous boost for confidence.

“Children have differing abilities. While some excel in sport or science, others have immense talents in the performing arts.”

Part of the cost of the project – £803,000 – will come from Section 106 funding, which is being provided by developers building homes in the area.

A Section 106 is a legal agreement between an applicant seeking planning permission and the local planning authority in order to mitigate the impact of new homes on the local community and infrastructure.

Ms Bailey says she hoped the new block would be built and opened by September 2021. At present the scheme is the subject of a planning application to be considered by Surrey County Council.

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