Campaigners to fight on after Pickles overrules inspector over Buckinghamshire free school

The Slough and Sough Bucks Observer is reporting that campaigners have vowed to fight on after a controversial secondary school was granted permission to stay in a village after Eric Pickles overruled a refusal recommendation from planners…

Khalsa Secondary Academy’s change of use application for Pioneer House, in Hollybush Hill, Stoke Poges, was granted approval today (Thursday), after a long-running planning battle.

Stoke Poges Parish Council vice-chairman Saera Carter said discussions are underway to decide whether they will appeal the decision made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, after he overruled inspector Ava Wood’s refusal recommendation.

“I am actually quite upbeat about the whole thing as we wanted the inspector to uphold our opinion on sustainability and she has,” she said. “But it is a political decision now.

“We are looking at it, as on the face of it, it appears that he [Mr Pickles] agrees with the inspectors reasons for refusal, but overturned the decision anyway.”

She added: “We are now taking legal advice to understand our next steps as we believe the Secretary of State’s decision may not be legally sound.”

South Bucks District Council (SBDC) refused the application to change the use of Pioneer House from offices to a secondary school in January, and a two-day planning inquiry in July led to inspector Wood recommending refusal to Mr Pickles.

In her conclusion, she recommended the appeal should be rejected ‘for the severity of impact on local residents from noise generated by the school’…

Nick Kandola, chairman of the Slough Sikh Education Trust, said the school will ‘do everything in its power’ to work with the community.

He added: “We are absolutely delighted. It has been two years since we wanted to move in, and we are happy along with the parents and pupils that the school can have a future in Stoke Poges.”…

More at: Latest: Campaigners have vowed to fight on after Khalsa Secondary Academy appeal was upheld


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