Residents rejoice as Bromley council reject plan for 10-storey academy

PUBLISHED: 16:53 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 18 December 2017

Artist's impression of the secondary school planned for Bromley South. Graphic: sub

Artist's impression of the secondary school planned for Bromley South. Graphic: sub


Bromley Council has rejected plans to build a 10-storey academy near a busy intersection, to the delight of a nearby community group.

The fate of The Science, Health and Wellbeing (SHaW) Futures Academy, located at the junction of Westmorelands Road and Masons Hill, was determined at a development control committee meeting on Wednesday.

The committee, chaired by Cllr Peter Dean, rejected the proposals with a vote of two in favour and 10 against and five abstentions.

Explaining the decision, Cllr Dean said: “The committee considered that the scale of this proposed building, with the impact on the amenity of local residents, combined with concerns about traffic and concerns about the protected views of the Keston ridge from the town centre meant that the committee decided to reject this application.”

The meeting was attended roughly eighty members of the SHaW School Development Action Group, who formed in opposition to the school in July of this year.

Deborah Williams, the group’s coordinator, opened the meeting with a five minute speech.

She said: “If there was a competition for the worst place to put a secondary school, this one would win hands down.”

“We are aware of the shortage of secondary school places, and do not object to the SHaW Academy itself, but not on this site - one of the busiest, most polluted junctions in the Borough - an extremely unhealthy site for a school.”

Reacting to news that the application had been turned down, Deborah said: “I am delighted absolutely delighted and surprised as well.

“I didn’t think that they would turn it down.”

The Education and Skills Funding Agency then provided their case in favour of the proposal, followed by a debate from the committee.

Councillor Peter Fortune, portfolio holder for education, children and families, also attended the meeting to deliver a speech in support of the planning application.

Launched by Bromley Education Trust, the proposal was for a 1,260-place school building for 11 to 19-year-olds and was scheduled to open in September 2020.

The plans included no on-site parking for staff or pupils and with 2 car parking spaces provided for disabled staff and visitors and 2 spaces for minibuses.

More than 200 people responded to the Council’s consultation about the proposal.

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