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Chislehurst residents campaign for new boys' school amid fears that traffic concerns could delay opening

PUBLISHED: 11:39 23 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:39 23 November 2016

An image from  the plans for Bullers Wood boys' school

An image from the plans for Bullers Wood boys' school

Archant

It is hoped the school will address a shortage of places for boys in the borough

Ben Greene, head of Bullers Wood School for GirlsBen Greene, head of Bullers Wood School for Girls

Chislehurst residents have set up a group to campaign for a new boys’ school in the area amid fears that objections over traffic congestion could delay its opening.

Bullers Wood School for Boys is scheduled to open in September next year to address a gender imbalance in comprehensive education in the borough, with more than 1,300 fewer places available for boys than for girls.

But objections have been raised regarding the school’s potential impact on the area’s congested roads, and the matter has been dropped from this week’s council planning committee while contractors provide additional information.

Those in favour of the school fear the objections to the development could prevent the school from opening next year and are lobbying the council to schedule a new meeting as soon as possible.

Chislehurst resident Lisa Margarito, a member of Bullers Wood School For Boys Support Group, said: “People with school age children are for it. If you speak to older residents they will argue there is no need for it – but there is.

“The issue we have got is we do have some good state schools in Bromley but unless you live within a half a mile radius you won’t get into them.

“By 2024 there will be a deficit of more than 3,000 school places. The council is passing planning permission for housing developments but not for extra schools, and children have to go to school somewhere.”

Head of Bullers Wood School for Girls Ben Greene added: “The developers have had lots of conversations with residents and the number one thing is the early start time, so students come in at 7.45am - before the worst part of rush hour.

“I know a lot of work has gone in on the plan in terms of the vehicular entrance and flow of traffic.

“The emphasis is on it being a school for locals students. We did an applications round last year before it was deferred and that showed the greatest demand is in the same postcode as the proposed school.”

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