HOVE’S newest neighbourhood is not now expected to have its own new secondary school on its 37-hectare site.

Labour councillor Tom Bewick has told The Argus there are “no plans” for a school on Toad’s Hole Valley in Hove where hundreds of new homes are planned.

Hove Park councillor Vanessa Brown raised concerns that the school had “slipped off the radar” and its loss could mean less green space.

Newly-released council papers state that a consultation to launch in the upcoming weeks will decide whether the school is still needed.

Council officers said a secondary school had not been ruled out and all options were being kept open to ensure the right infrastructure would eventually be delivered.

The council added that the Government’s recent decision to give the green light to a new University of Brighton free school opening in 2018 was unrelated to any changes to Toad’s Hole Valley.

Residents, councillors, community groups, schools and churches will all be asked for their views during a six-week consultation to be held from late March.

A total of 700 new homes, high-tech modern offices, children’s play and sports facilities and public open space is planned for the 37-hectare site.

Plans for a secondary school over five hectares are included in the recently-agreed City Plan with the planning inspector noting a school would add to the sustainability of the site.

The city-wide consultation will feed into a finalised planning document which will be considered by councillors next year.

As the site is privately-owned, council officers said plans for developing the site could come forward at any time.

Cllr Bewick, children’s and young people committee chairman, said there are no plans for a new school although the authority will continue to keep the situation under regular review.

He said: “Once the current primary pupil bulge works through after 2022 there should not be the need to build additional schools in the city.

“Furthermore, the city centre sites we are looking at to support Brighton University Trust's free school will open up greater parental choice for residents living in the central and eastern parts of the city.”

Conservative councillor Vanessa Brown said: “We have the University of Brighton free school to help with secondary school places by 2018 but it’s still possible we will need another secondary school and you would think it would go on Toad’s Hole Valley.

“If there’s not a school there will probably be the temptation to maximise the houses on that site, I’m sure developers would want as many houses on there as they can.

“I would like to see as much green space as possible there and at least with a school you would expect there to be playing fields.

“I have always had very strong concerns about the development especially about the amount of traffic.”