Councillors and parents object to work on classroom before planning permission at Vale Primary School in Epsom

Councillors and residents stand outside the Vale Primary School in Epsom

Councillors and residents stand outside the Vale Primary School in Epsom

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Angry councillors and parents have objected to work starting on a school classroom before planning permission has been granted.

A planning application has been submitted for a portable classroom for seven years at the Vale Primary School, Beaconsfield Road, Langley Vale, Epsom.

But County Councillor Eber Kington said work has already started on site before planning consent has been granted by Surrey County Council.

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Coun Kington said it is also not known how the school will deal with the additional traffic volumes. He said: "This situation is unacceptable.

"SCC sets a dangerous and morally unsound precedent to developers if SCC itself can ignore the planning process and start building on the basis of conversations amongst county officers, who get the go-ahead for work before planning permission if granted.

"Expanding Schools before putting in place in plans to deal with traffic congestion is a nonsense and a failure of their duty to local residents and the children attending the school. 

"Deciding in July that a school needs to be expanded in September shows a failure of the school planning regime to understand the data on births which they have had in their possession for last few years."

Epsom borough councillor Liz Frost said: "The main reason for our protest is that the proper planning processes have not been followed."

She added: "Because there is no permission for building work, there are no conditions applied, and neighbours tell me that there was loud building work at 7am on Saturday - surely not acceptable.

"As to the plans themselves, when the school was first built, I understand that local residents were assured that the site was too small for there to be any expansion to it, therefore the proposals appear to be over-development of the site."

This Is Local London:

In a statement co-headteachers Carrie Christer and Claire Regnard said: "With the additional reception class starting in September 2014 all local children were able to gain a place, which is reassuring and comforting for parents in what can be a very stressful time.

"With this additional reception class the school will still be under its capacity of 210."

In response to questions from Coun Kington, SCC cabinet member for schools and learning Councillor Linda Kemeny said there was an urgent need to school places by September 2014.

She said: "The applicant in this instance has recognised the duty and obligations to Surrey parents and taken the difficult decision to submit their planning application, enabling local residents to register their views for consideration, whilst running in parallel the development of the scheme."

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Comments (4)

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1:45pm Wed 23 Jul 14

jswan1 says...

Suggest that Surrey CC just fast track this given there is a school involved.
Suggest that Surrey CC just fast track this given there is a school involved. jswan1
  • Score: -3

3:41pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Beaky1 says...

I see the photograph of the residents contains no parents of school-age, it seems like a case of Not in my back yard.
I see the photograph of the residents contains no parents of school-age, it seems like a case of Not in my back yard. Beaky1
  • Score: 1

12:16am Thu 24 Jul 14

Harry's child says...

Beaky1 wrote:
I see the photograph of the residents contains no parents of school-age, it seems like a case of Not in my back yard.
Do either of you (jswan1 and Beaky1) actually know where this school is situated? It is almost at the end of a narrow residential no-through road and the traffic and parking situation on schooldays is unacceptable to both residents and school users. When the plans for this school were proposed in 1998/9 the residents of Langley Vale worked long and hard with both Surrey County Council and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to ensure that both residents and the school would be able to co-exist happily. One of the main conditions was that a school transport plan would be put in place, including if necessary, a minibus to transport the children that lived to far away to walk to school, thus minimising the traffic in the area of the school. The school has been open for 15 years and this still has not happened. As Cllr Liz Frost states in the above article "As to the plans themselves, when the school was first built, I understand that local residents were assured that the site was too small for there to be any expansion to it, therefore the proposals appear to be over-development of the site." The site is indeed very small and the school has very little outside space (now made even less by the addition of this new building) and in fact have to use part of Epsom Downs as their sports field. The above photo does indeed show a few residents, but also some local Councillors and who is to say the people in the photograph are not grandparents of children at the school!
[quote][p][bold]Beaky1[/bold] wrote: I see the photograph of the residents contains no parents of school-age, it seems like a case of Not in my back yard.[/p][/quote]Do either of you (jswan1 and Beaky1) actually know where this school is situated? It is almost at the end of a narrow residential no-through road and the traffic and parking situation on schooldays is unacceptable to both residents and school users. When the plans for this school were proposed in 1998/9 the residents of Langley Vale worked long and hard with both Surrey County Council and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to ensure that both residents and the school would be able to co-exist happily. One of the main conditions was that a school transport plan would be put in place, including if necessary, a minibus to transport the children that lived to far away to walk to school, thus minimising the traffic in the area of the school. The school has been open for 15 years and this still has not happened. As Cllr Liz Frost states in the above article "As to the plans themselves, when the school was first built, I understand that local residents were assured that the site was too small for there to be any expansion to it, therefore the proposals appear to be over-development of the site." The site is indeed very small and the school has very little outside space (now made even less by the addition of this new building) and in fact have to use part of Epsom Downs as their sports field. The above photo does indeed show a few residents, but also some local Councillors and who is to say the people in the photograph are not grandparents of children at the school! Harry's child
  • Score: -2

10:39am Thu 24 Jul 14

Beaky1 says...

With response to Harry's Child, I actually live in the top part of Beaconsfield Road, and had children who attended the school, as one of the headteacher states "With this additional reception class the school will still be under its capacity of 210." which is within the permitted number agreed at the time when the school was built. This will not cause any further traffic problems as many of the children who attend the school have either 1 or 2 siblings, unfortunately with the number of houses being knocked down and rebuilt in the immediate vicinity the number of school places needs to be increased.
With response to Harry's Child, I actually live in the top part of Beaconsfield Road, and had children who attended the school, as one of the headteacher states "With this additional reception class the school will still be under its capacity of 210." which is within the permitted number agreed at the time when the school was built. This will not cause any further traffic problems as many of the children who attend the school have either 1 or 2 siblings, unfortunately with the number of houses being knocked down and rebuilt in the immediate vicinity the number of school places needs to be increased. Beaky1
  • Score: 2

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