PEMBROKESHIRE County Council’s plan for a brand new secondary school in Haverfordwest has been approved by its planning committee.

The former Sir Thomas Picton School has been demolished and its replacement, including sports buildings, 3G playing fields/pitches, multi-use games area, parking and coach drop-off facilities has been given the green light.

The £48.7m proposal is for a two storey teaching block, in a “cruciform shaped axis with a flexible central space connecting two external courtyards,” for 1,500 pupils aged 11 to 16, as well as 250 sixth form pupils and around 200 staff.

“Two symmetrically diagonal front façades converge towards the main entrance and sixth form accommodation to form the feature frontage of the building,” a planning report adds.

There will also be an eight court sports hall with community leisure facilities, floodlit 3G pitch and two MUGA courts with alterations to the existing road infrastructure and access also to be made, including a 134 bay car park.

The existing athletics track, all-weather pitch and grass pitches will be retained.

Most traffic, including school buses, will enter the site via a new access road currently being built off the A40, with the entrance on Cherry Grove for pedestrians and emergency vehicles only, and a smaller entrance on Queensway removed. The existing site entrance via Back Lane would remain.

Cabinet member for infrastructure Cllr Phil Baker has called it the council’s “biggest construction project to date.”

Members of the county council planning committee approved the 21st Century Schools application at its meeting on October 6, with Haverfordwest councillor Tim Evans saying “it’s a shame this proposal had not been before this committee many years before.”

After the meeting Cllr Guy Woodham, cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, also welcomed planning approval.

“This is another important milestone for this project in delivering a fantastic modern new 21st Century school in Haverfordwest,” he said. “A lot of hard work has been undertaken, despite COVID-19, to successfully progress the project with everything still on track for the new school to open, as scheduled, in September 2022.”

An aerial view of the new Haverfordwest VC High School to be built by contractors Morgan Sindall. PIC PCC

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