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New 900-pupil secondary school set to be denied again despite majority approval

PUBLISHED: 13:57 04 October 2017

An image of the proposed boys' school

An image of the proposed boys' school

Archant

A decision will made at the development control board meeting tonight

Plans for an all-boys secondary school are set to be denied again by planning councillors when they meet tonight.

Bullers Wood School for Boys is hoping to open to take Year 7 students into a temporary building from September 2018 as development begins on a larger building on St Hughes Playing Fields, between Chislehurst and Bickley.

The council threw out plans for the 900-pupil school in January, leaving parents “enraged”.

But coming back with a second application, the proposal has gained 70 per cent of consulted residents’ favour ahead of Wednesday night’s development control board meeting.

Around 30 per cent of consulted residents, “predominantly from local residential properties” according to the council, were against the proposal, raising concerns over the potential impact on traffic as well as the environmental impact on the playing fields.

If built, the school would build an access road with space for cars, as well 69 parking spaces and 25 drop off points, 20 inside the school and five on Chislehurst Road.

Developers suggest the new school would put 156 more vehicles on the road during the morning rush hour, and 67 in the evening, as the school sets out a plan to encourage the use of public transport along with pedestrian and cycling access.

But residents claim the road outside the potential school is “too narrow for access and in a dangerous location”, while others have been critical of the school’s transport plan.

A council officer has recommended the application is refused once more, explaining: “The potential traffic generation and capacity of the existing highway network along with the proposed access arrangements raise both road and pedestrian safety concerns that have not been fully addressed in the proposal and are likely to cause severe cumulative impacts.”

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