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Planning application for building of new school refused

PUBLISHED: 11:13 26 January 2018

Aerial view of proposed Bullers Wood School for Boys.

Aerial view of proposed Bullers Wood School for Boys.

Archant

The decision to approve a planning application to build Bullers Wood School for Boys on St Hugh’s playing fields was not ratified at yesterday’s Development Control Committee.

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

The Kier Construction 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.

This brought fresh concerns to families who now face an uncertain future over their child’s education.

The school was due to open in September if permission had been granted.

Peter Fortune, Executive Cllr for Education, Children and Families, said: “As a result of the decision reached regarding Bullers Wood Boys’ School please be assured that the local authority is still ready to meet the demand for secondary school places in the borough.

“Admissions officers stand ready to accept calls to reassure parents that a place will be available for their son.

“Bromley has exceptionally high achieving schools and we are sure that all children will have the very best experience during their secondary education.”

Cllr Peter Dean, Chairman of Development Control Committee said, “This was an immensely difficult decision.

“The Committee accepted the concerns identified in the inspector’s report about the road safety and traffic concerns and in these circumstances, decided to refuse the application.”

The decision to approve the second planning application was subject to the completion of a legal agreement, which had not been completed when the outcome of the appeal became known.

Therefore, new material planning considerations were studied by the Development Control Committee prior to the legal agreement moving to completion.

Residents had expressed strong concerns earlier this month when the legal advice once again threatened the plans to build a school, with many parents stating that they would potentially need to move from the area to be closer to different schools.

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