Anxious and “desperate” Bromley parents have started a petition to get a new secondary school opened by next year after the council decided to withhold planning permission.
Eden Park High School is slated to open temporarily at a site at Ravensbourne School on Hayes Lane for the 2017 school year before moving to its permanent location the following year.
But local parents and the E21C Trust worry that the council will block the planned opening in September 2017 and deprive children across the borough of much-needed school places.
The petition on Change.org reads: “The demand for the new school is undeniable.
“The Council itself has identified that there is an acute need for new schools in Bromley, especially in the North West of the Borough, the proposed permanent location for the Eden Park High School.”
The E21C Trust has applied for permission to run the new free school from the Ravensbourne School site until 2019, but they hope the permanent site will be ready by the 2018 academic year.
Bromley Council deferred the application for the temporary site until the decision is made on the application for the permanent site at Balmoral Avenue in Beckenham.
Headteacher Emily Codling told News Shopper: “We have been asked so many times by parents desperately wanting school places about how they can get together and show support.
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“They are trying to have their voices heard and many parents are very disappointed by this deferral.”
The temporary site will accommodate 180 Year 7 students next year if permission is granted and, once at the permanent site, accept an intake of 11-year-olds each year until they reach capacity of seven year groups.
Bromley borough is predicted to need 3,673 more secondary school places by 2024.
A council spokesperson said: “Determining a planning application for education use is an important decision and affects both prospective parents and pupils and local residents.
“This is why we need to make sure that all the facts are available before such an application is determined.
“Whilst it recognised that there is a need for school places generally, the Committee wanted further information about the demand for pupil places and crucially, the Committee considered it prudent to await the outcome of the separate application for the permanent school site in Beckenham before determining this temporary application.
“Therefore, the Committee deferred the application without prejudice to allow this to happen.
“Of course, we will consider any petition that comes forward but clearly the reasons for the deferral remain.”
According to the petition, Eden Park High School will eventually offer 1,680 school places, meeting 46 per cent of the borough’s demand.
The E21C Trust runs three academies: Mottingham Primary School, Scotts Park Primary School and the Ravensbourne School.