BUILDING work on a new primary school is set to start as soon as the first homes are built on farmland on the edge of Winchester, probably in 2015.

Developer Cala Homes is obliged to provide land and cash for a two-form entry primary as part of permission for 2,000 homes at Barton Farm - the biggest single housing scheme in the city's history.

It will also provide fields for Henry Beaufort Secondary School to expand on the other side of Andover Road north which is to be closed with traffic diverted through the giant housing estate. Communities secretary Eric Pickles last month (October) gave permission for the controversial scheme after a planning battle dating back to the 1990s.

Mike Emett, director of Cala Homes, said construction of the primary was planned to start in the first phase of house-building, probably in 2015. He said: “It will be provided at the outset of the development. The agreement is the school will be up and running by the 250th occupation.

“The county council will start building the school pretty much the same time as we build the first houses.”

See Learning Curve supplement inside Seven Days for the rest of the story.