Woodlands Meed College rebuild

Project updates on rebuilding the college.

Latest and background

Updated: 27 February 2024

Latest news:

West Sussex County Council is extremely disappointed to announce that, despite reassurances from the contractor, Woodlands Meed College has still not been completed to a satisfactory level for handover.

Council officers have reviewed the contractor’s progress in the last week and there are significant issues outstanding that need to be resolved.

These include issues with the vinyl floor coverings, external brickwork and tiles around the hydrotherapy pool, along with other significant matters that need to be resolved before the building can be taken over.

The council’s frustration remains that of the staff, parents and the pupils over the uncertainty, and we are sorry that we cannot yet confirm timescales.

As we have stated before, we will not accept a handover of the site from the contractor until it is in a suitable condition for pupils and staff to move into safely and without further disruption.


West Sussex County Council has allocated £21.6million to a major project to rebuild Woodlands Meed College.

The new facilities will significantly improve facilities for pupils who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at the Burgess Hill college.

Independent surveys carried out last year showed that the current buildings are safe, but the facilities need to be upgraded and more space is required for the college’s 100 pupils.

Planning permission has been granted to create the new building on the college playing field. The County Council has worked with an architect with extensive experience of designing SEND schools to design a new building which will:

  • include 12 new classrooms and specialist areas for design and technology, music, science and food technology
  • meet all the required school building regulations (known as BB104)
  • provide students with significantly more internal space
  • include high quality sporting facilities including all weather pitches, and a 2-court sports hall and accessible changing facilities
  • include a new dining hall and kitchen, a common room and a range of therapy spaces along with personal care facilities, staff offices and welfare areas
  • have a new hydrotherapy pool
  • have a host of new outside learning and play areas including classrooms, an outside gym, planting areas, and courtyard and amphitheatre space
  • be more suitable for pupils who have mobility issues
  • have optimum comfort levels for students and staff, the design carefully considered around ventilation, cooling and heating systems
  • have solar panels on the roof making the facilities energy efficient and reduce energy costs for the college.

Great care has been taken to ensure the building work will create minimum disruption for students of Woodlands Meed, who will continue to learn on the site, and students at the neighbouring Birchwood Grove Primary School.

West Sussex County Council has been in discussion with the College over many months to incorporate many of the College’s requirements into its final plan.

Families have been informed about the latest proposals at two virtual engagement events this week (November 2 and 3, 2021)

You can see the exciting plans in our presentation and short video below:

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Claire Barton, architect and partner of Haverstock provides some background information about the project.

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