HARTFORD High School will become a ‘campus’ after plans to demolish and rebuild facilities were approved by the council.

The school, off Chester Road, has been given the green light to demolish its eastern ‘cluster’ of buildings and rebuild closer to the existing western site.

Planning documents suggested that the change will increase efficiency at the school for staff and students alike, with some timetabling issues leading to lengthy cross-site walks between classrooms.

Headteacher Mike Holland said: “We are delighted that permission for our new build has now been approved.

“This will provide us with state-of-the-art science labs, design technology and art rooms, a library and English rooms.

“Additionally there will be a brand new kitchen and canteen area as well as a sports hall which we will ensure is available for community use at evenings and weekends and which will add to our extensive portfolio of sports facilities.

“We expect work to begin in early January 2019 with completion due for February/March 2020.”

The plans were amended and resubmitted over the summer, gaining approval last month.

Demolition of the eastern site would not start until the new building was complete.

Plans represent a final move away from the original separate girls’ school and boys’ school, which merged in 1978.

The two blocks are currently 400m apart, and it is hoped that the new build would ‘positively contribute to the school ethos’.

The Church of England high school, which is currently around 150 students short of its 1,050 capacity, specialises in sport and would see enhanced facilities as a result of the change.

While the proposed new-build site is classed as a playing field, planners say Sport England are satisfied that – following demolition on the eastern site – a similar sized area will become available.