Girls refuse defeat in battle over boys’ new school building

PUBLISHED: 15:56 18 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:08 12 August 2010

GIRLS school governors are trying to wreck plans for a new building at a boys school, according to the council. Langley Park School for Girls bosses were slammed by Bromley council for their fragrant misuse of public money after revealing they wil

GIRLS' school governors are trying to 'wreck' plans for a new building at a boys' school, according to the council.

Langley Park School for Girls bosses were slammed by Bromley council for their 'fragrant misuse of public money' after revealing they will go to the Court of Appeal to block plans for the new building in Hawksbrook Lane, Beckenham.

The girls' school appealed to the High Court to dismiss planning permission, granted by the council for the boys' school in a Judicial Review but its claim was dismissed on February 25.

The girls' school is now seeking leave to appeal at the Court of Appeal, disrupting the plans again.

Leader of Bromley council, Stephen Carr, said: "We condemn the delaying and wrecking tactics by the girls' school. The main priority must be the children's education which they should receive in fit for purpose premises. With this uppermost in our minds, the girls' school headteacher, Miss Sage and the chairman of governors should consider their position."

The girls' school bosses claim the new site will disrupt their pupils and want the boys' school to find another site to build on further away.

The battle has been ongoing since 2006 when funding was first received for the new build.

Facilities at the boys' school were built for just 650 pupils, nearly 1,000 less than the current number of attendees.

Councillor for children and young people Ernest Noad said "The prospect of a new boys' school and performance centre is very exciting and, given the state of the infrastructure within the school, it is long overdue.

"The actions of the girls' school are not based on planning grounds as was proven in the High Court, rather they are designed to wreck the scheme and they hope that funding will be withdrawn. They seem to be against the rebuild in principle. This scheme was approved by Bromley council, agreed by the Mayor of London and by the Secretary of State. It forms part of our strategy for improving the infrastructure of our secondary schools. By delaying this scheme they are also placing that strategy at risk as well."

Mr Noad said councillors are angry that the costs of mounting the legal challenge are coming from the girls' school budget which is funded by the taxpayer and "should be used for the education of the pupils".

He said: "The school will have to meet not only its own costs but the council's costs as well as those were awarded in the High Court. The action has also incurred costs to the boys' school that have had to field a legal team. We will do all possible to recoup costs back to the taxpayer from the governing body."

A spokesman for the girls' school was unavailable for comment as the Times went to press.

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