Planning permission granted for new Burgess Hill Secondary School
Mid Sussex District Council has granted planning permission for a new zero-carbon school as part of the Brookleigh development in Burgess Hill.
Councillors praised the ‘excellent’ and ‘unique’ designs submitted by West Sussex County Council for the 900 pupil school. The ambitious design will allow the school to generate its own renewable energy on site without using any fossil fuels. It aims to be the first school in West Sussex to achieve Passivhaus certification, the highest standard of energy efficiency a building can reach.
West Sussex County Council has approved nearly £40m to fund the new secondary school, with Homes England also contributing the land and £18.159m as part of the overall development.
The school has energy efficiency at the heart of every area of its design. Its position will provide maximum sunlight to nearly 1,000 solar photovoltaic panels generating an estimated 296,000 kWh of energy a year. The LED lighting will be controlled automatically by daylight and movement detection. The main building will have fresh air ventilation, keeping the school a comfortable temperature, even in extreme heat. The school will also feature a Special Support Centre enabling children with special educational needs and disabilities to be supported to learn in a mainstream school.
Homes England is working to provide a truly sustainable community at Brookleigh that supports low-carbon lifestyles and traffic-free commutes. The new development will include a network of walking and cycling routes to link new homes, schools, parks and shops and make active travel an easy choice for families.
The University of Brighton Academies Trust will run the new school as part of an ‘all-through’ primary and secondary school named The Bedelands Academy. The primary element is being developed and funded separately by Homes England on a nearby site.
Securing planning permission for this new secondary school is tremendous news for Burgess Hill residents and is a step towards the delivery of another important piece of infrastructure to support the sustainable growth of the town.
Throughout the Brookleigh development essential infrastructure improvements are being delivered at an early stage, with work to expand the road network, improve sustainable transport infrastructure and deliver this new school underway both before and alongside the construction of new homes.
Everyone involved is working towards the new secondary school being completed and open to its first students in September 2025. It will open as a four-form of entry school, first welcoming around 120 year 7 students and will grow each year to eventually accommodate 900 pupils.