College extension gets go-ahead despite objectionsBy Tim Harris
January 15, 2013
A COLLEGE in Farnborough has been given the green light for a controversial extension to its main building, despite objections from people living nearby.
Farnborough Sixth Form College last week received the go ahead to put up the extension on the side of the main building on its Prospect Avenue site, which will act as a ‘social space’ for the students.
Rushmoor Borough Council’s development committee granted the college permission, amid concerns from several residents who live near Farnborough Sixth Form.
Letters were received from people living in both Sand Hill and Whitehouse Close, who raised objections. When built, the extension will face Sand Hill.
Residents flagged up concerns about a number of issues, including noise and disturbance, both during construction and when the building will be in use, antisocial behaviour and the effect on trees.
There were also resident objections on the grounds of a feared increase in student numbers and associated traffic, with arguments that the college should not expand further.
Gordon Dodds, deputy principal for finance and admin at Farnborough Sixth Form, has hit back at the objections made about the new extension.
He said: “I think the noise issue is misunderstood. In terms of noise this will help the residents, Instead of just having kids hanging around the area it will be an enclosed space.
“It will be a lot quieter and it should be better for the residents. The chances are you won’t hear any noise – it will not turn into a disco or anything.
“I think the extension will tidy up the area in terms of where it is in Sand Hill – it will make it look neat. It won’t increase traffic. We are adding the extension without changing the main footprint of the college site.”
Mr Dodds also confirmed the extension would not have any harmful effect on the environment.
He described how the new extension will be useful for students and said it will give them an area to socialise and study.
“The extension is welcomed,” added Mr Dodds. “It will be a good facility and something the students need. The kids are going to love it.
“The extension will be an all-weather facility, it will be a covered area. It is a very useful facility and I am pleased that it has been approved.”
The council approved the extension because it was decided the addition at the college would not have a harmful effect on the area nearby.
A report by the council’s planning team said: “The council has granted permission because the proposal has no material adverse implications for the character of the area, the amenities of nearby residents or highway safety.”
In allowing Farnborough Sixth Form the extension, the council outlined a number of conditions the college must abide by.
This includes the extension only being used as a space to provide eating and social facilities for students, and must not be used as a teaching space.