Cala Homes has set the ball rolling on its proposal for the part-demolition and part-conversion of The Royal Junior School in Hindhead to create around 110 new homes.
The house-building giant exchanged on a conditional contract to purchase The Royal Junior School off Portsmouth Road last May, with its purchase dependent on planning consent being granted.
And this week, Cala submitted a request for a screening opinion to Waverley Borough Council, querying if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will have to be undertaken as part of its planning application.
The request is accompanied by an 87-page report by specialists DHA Environment outlining Cala’s intentions for the 23.5 acre site and assessing the need for an EIA.
It states: “The existing Hindhead Court building (circa-1916) would be retained as part of the development proposals, with the building being converted from a school building to approximately 11 apartments.
“Hindhead Court would become the focus for the development with formal communal gardens.
“All other modern 20th century buildings (post-1955) on the site would be demolished as part of the proposals.
“A further 99 dwellings would be constructed within the footprint of the demolished buildings and the wider grounds of the school.
“A large area of the site will remain undeveloped at the southern end of the site to create Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) as means of mitigation for recreational impact on the nearby Wealden Heaths Phase II Special Protection Area (SPA).”
The report concludes that the site is located within a “sensitive area” – being within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and just 600 metres from the Devils Punchbowl Site of Special Scientific Interest and Wealden Heaths.
But adds that as the development “is not considered likely to have significant environmental effects”, an EIA is unnecessary.