Plans for a new school in north Kingston were rubber-stamped on Tuesday night as Kingston Council’s executive defended allegations of a u-turn.

The council’s Guildhall chamber was packed with parents and campaigners who have been fighting for a new school in the north of the borough for three years.

Executive member for children and young people’s services, Tricia Bamford, thanked parents for their patience and said when officers began drafting a bid for funding to the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, she had been “barely able to contain her excitement”.

Despite claiming plans for a new secondary school in the borough were “deeply irresponsible” earlier in the year, the Liberal Democrats said new population data justified building a new six-form entry secondary school, projected to open in 2015 if funding is successful.

Efforts to redevelop Grey Court School in Richmond which is currently an option for north Kingston parents, will also go ahead.

Councillor Bamford said: “It has been a massive undertaking to get this far and it was imperative to get the best case together to present to the BSF.

“Thank you all for being so patient and I hope you are happy with this outcome. I just hope that the work to get to this point will bear fruit.”

Campaigner Angela Norton-Bilsby said parents were “thrilled and delighted” with the council’s plans but wanted assurances that parents would now be consulted after she said they were shunned during all 42 previous consultation events.

She said: “This is not about winning or losing or political battles. It is about our children’s right to a good education at a school they want to attend.”

Conservative education spokesman Nick Kilby, said: “What a difference a year makes.

“We will now push the council to agree a suitable location for this new school and to get it open as soon as possible.

“Well done to the parents of north Kingston. It has been a pleasure to support them.”