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Backlash over refusal to build Bullers Wood School

PUBLISHED: 16:32 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:58 30 January 2018

A march against the decisions took place yesterday. Picture: Lucy Scala Photography

A march against the decisions took place yesterday. Picture: Lucy Scala Photography

Archant

Bromley Council voted against plans to open Bullers Wood School for Boys, which would have opened in September, despite approving it last year.

The meeting followed the receipt of legal advice received by the council about the need to consider new material planning considerations.

The application, which requested the building of the secondary school on St Hugh’s playing fields, Chislehurst, was initially refused in January 2017, before a subsequent application was accepted in October.

However, following the second application, legal advice was sought after concerns about road safety and traffic were raised.

Disappointed parents claim that the day that inspections highlighted issues surrounding road safety, many roads were closed off for works, which had led to an unusual amount of traffic in the area.

The decision to refuse the plan came less than a month before offers of places were due to be sent out, and hundreds of year six boys in the borough are now facing long journeys to secondary schools.

A march was held on Sunday, January 28, in protest of the decision.

Signs from the march read ‘Say yes to Bullers again.’

Cllr Nicholas Bennett, chairman of the Education, Children and Families select committee, said: “We desperately need this new school for our boys in the north of the borough.

“Keep up the fight, many councillors fully support the proposal”.

Jane Cowie, mother of a son who hoped to attend the school, said: “My son would have walked to Bullers Wood.

“Instead he will now have to leave extremely early to stand any chance of getting on already overcrowded buses.

“Or on the occasions I can, I will drive him; clogging up the roads even further at peak times.”

Nancy Lengthorn, another parent, added: “The DCC was given clear guidance by the Council CEO to ratify the approval they had granted in October. “Councillors were clearly told not to re-hash old ground, and yet we had to listen to untruths and hyperbole about teenage learner drivers.

“Suggestions from one councillor for us to consider sending our children to selective schools were particularly hard to endure.

“We are bereft.”

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