Kingston Council scraps building plans for Surbiton schools in expansion u-turn

Kingston Council scraps building plans for Surbiton schools in expansion u-turn

Kingston Council scraps building plans for Surbiton schools in expansion u-turn

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

Plans to expand Maple Infants’ and St Andrew’s and St Mark’s Junior schools in Surbiton have been scrapped after Kingston Council bowed to pressure from campaigners.

Parents learned today that a new two-storey classroom block will not be built and the schools’ intake will not be expanded in September.

The move could affect dozens of Year 2 children at Maple Infants’, who now may not gain places at the next-door junior school.

Kingston parent Lisa Dhawan said: “It’s going to have a huge detrimental impact on us. We don’t know where we can go from here. They have to come up with something really good.

“Parents are up in arms.”

Matthew Paul , head of school place commissioning for Kingston and Richmond, wrote to parents: “The council has decided to withdraw the planning application for the proposed building work at St Andrew's and St Mark's and to withdraw the statutory proposal to expand both schools on a permanent basis from September 2014.

“The reasons for the withdrawal primarily relate to concerns with the building designs and a wish for there to be more time to resolve those concerns.

“Whilst we are very aware that many parents will be concerned by this news, we will do our utmost to work with the schools to resolve the outstanding issues.”

A ‘bulge’ class of 30 pupils will enter Maple Infants’ in September, but the Comet understands there are no plans for similar arrangements at St Andrew’s and St Mark’s.

Parent Sharron Sumner, 42, of Grove Road, opposed the design of the new block. She said: “Obviously we feel for those parents who are concerned that they won’t get in.

“We felt all along that you can’t ruin a really good school in order to expand another. You have to look into what benefits the majority of students.”

What do you think? Write to letters@surreycomet.co.uk.

Comments (8)

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4:55pm Fri 7 Mar 14

OlBaloney says...

This LibDem Councillors in Kingston are clearly incompetent idiots.

Roll on the Council Elections in May when Kingston residents can seize the opportunity to replace them.
This LibDem Councillors in Kingston are clearly incompetent idiots. Roll on the Council Elections in May when Kingston residents can seize the opportunity to replace them. OlBaloney
  • Score: -3

6:32pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Mr Chipps says...

Try to embrace the truth for a change rather than usual LibDem distortions. Conservatives supported local residents in voicing serious concerns over access, traffic, parking and safety. They did not oppose additional school places per se.

And if there is any any councillor serving or previous who is disgraced it is the jailed former LibDem Leader.
Try to embrace the truth for a change rather than usual LibDem distortions. Conservatives supported local residents in voicing serious concerns over access, traffic, parking and safety. They did not oppose additional school places per se. And if there is any any councillor serving or previous who is disgraced it is the jailed former LibDem Leader. Mr Chipps
  • Score: -1

6:45pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Dog whistle says...

Aaargh me hearties...the old Captain is back..nice to see doesn't mind a spot of defamation when talking about a Tory Councillor...so I guess it means he isn't a lawyer. I'd take a punt and suggest a political hack (allegedly) - a councillor (allegedly), an apparatchik funded by the taxpayers (allegedly) or just a gifted amateur with insider knowledge (or not ...)
Aaargh me hearties...the old Captain is back..nice to see doesn't mind a spot of defamation when talking about a Tory Councillor...so I guess it means he isn't a lawyer. I'd take a punt and suggest a political hack (allegedly) - a councillor (allegedly), an apparatchik funded by the taxpayers (allegedly) or just a gifted amateur with insider knowledge (or not ...) Dog whistle
  • Score: -4

7:37pm Fri 7 Mar 14

sumbee says...

Hi, I'm one of the parents that campaigned against the planning permission for SASMs expansion, and to have the proposed block located elsewhere on the SASM site. If it had gone ahead as planned, the 9 metre high 8 classroom block would have overshadowed our playground (Maple Infants) and resulted in approximately half of our very small playground being unavailable during to the infants during its 30+ week construction.

We thought, and still do, that the over provision of classrooms (SASMs board of governors demanded 8, when only 4 were need to facilitate expansion), the type of design used and the chosen location of the block would have detrimental effects on our neighbouring school and its pupils education.

We are not against the expansion in principle but feel that the proposal has been rushed though and that all options to expand within the schools footprint hadn't been fully explored.

I recommend reviewing the proposed plans (application number 14/16033) to fully appreciate the effect this proposal would have on our school.
Hi, I'm one of the parents that campaigned against the planning permission for SASMs expansion, and to have the proposed block located elsewhere on the SASM site. If it had gone ahead as planned, the 9 metre high 8 classroom block would have overshadowed our playground (Maple Infants) and resulted in approximately half of our very small playground being unavailable during to the infants during its 30+ week construction. We thought, and still do, that the over provision of classrooms (SASMs board of governors demanded 8, when only 4 were need to facilitate expansion), the type of design used and the chosen location of the block would have detrimental effects on our neighbouring school and its pupils education. We are not against the expansion in principle but feel that the proposal has been rushed though and that all options to expand within the schools footprint hadn't been fully explored. I recommend reviewing the proposed plans (application number 14/16033) to fully appreciate the effect this proposal would have on our school. sumbee
  • Score: 3

9:17am Sat 8 Mar 14

Borrington says...

Forget all the ridiculous political posturing from the first few posts.

Everyone - Council Officers, Councillors, Governing Bodies and parents need to start asking themselves what's best for the children. If it's not the current proposal then get around a table and agree one that is.

What a pity it would be to remove the choice of sending kids to a good school because it can't cater for the numbers coming up from the school next door.

Come on everyone, get talking.
Forget all the ridiculous political posturing from the first few posts. Everyone - Council Officers, Councillors, Governing Bodies and parents need to start asking themselves what's best for the children. If it's not the current proposal then get around a table and agree one that is. What a pity it would be to remove the choice of sending kids to a good school because it can't cater for the numbers coming up from the school next door. Come on everyone, get talking. Borrington
  • Score: 0

10:52am Sat 8 Mar 14

mrkjdavis says...

Seems the Councils school expansion plans have been blocked by the Lib Dem Council.

The trouble for Capt Shamrock is what he accuses the Conservatives of is exactly what his beloved Lib Dems have done here. Conservatives stood up for residents when they were concerned about school expansion. They did not block the money to expand schools but were concerned at the way the Lib Dems proposed buildings to expand and the impact on local residents.

In the case reported here it seems exactly the same thing has happened. Residents have objected so the Lib Dem Council has blocked the expansion of school places.

Not that this has anything to do wit the local elections in May!
Seems the Councils school expansion plans have been blocked by the Lib Dem Council. The trouble for Capt Shamrock is what he accuses the Conservatives of is exactly what his beloved Lib Dems have done here. Conservatives stood up for residents when they were concerned about school expansion. They did not block the money to expand schools but were concerned at the way the Lib Dems proposed buildings to expand and the impact on local residents. In the case reported here it seems exactly the same thing has happened. Residents have objected so the Lib Dem Council has blocked the expansion of school places. Not that this has anything to do wit the local elections in May! mrkjdavis
  • Score: -2

11:12am Sat 8 Mar 14

sumbee says...

mrkjdavis wrote:
Seems the Councils school expansion plans have been blocked by the Lib Dem Council.

The trouble for Capt Shamrock is what he accuses the Conservatives of is exactly what his beloved Lib Dems have done here. Conservatives stood up for residents when they were concerned about school expansion. They did not block the money to expand schools but were concerned at the way the Lib Dems proposed buildings to expand and the impact on local residents.

In the case reported here it seems exactly the same thing has happened. Residents have objected so the Lib Dem Council has blocked the expansion of school places.

Not that this has anything to do wit the local elections in May!
Save Maples Playground contacted council members from both parties, and got roughly the same response. So we don't feel this debate is a political one. More a question of how to best facilitate the expansion in a harmonious way which will enrich the educational environment for both sets of pupils.
[quote][p][bold]mrkjdavis[/bold] wrote: Seems the Councils school expansion plans have been blocked by the Lib Dem Council. The trouble for Capt Shamrock is what he accuses the Conservatives of is exactly what his beloved Lib Dems have done here. Conservatives stood up for residents when they were concerned about school expansion. They did not block the money to expand schools but were concerned at the way the Lib Dems proposed buildings to expand and the impact on local residents. In the case reported here it seems exactly the same thing has happened. Residents have objected so the Lib Dem Council has blocked the expansion of school places. Not that this has anything to do wit the local elections in May![/p][/quote]Save Maples Playground contacted council members from both parties, and got roughly the same response. So we don't feel this debate is a political one. More a question of how to best facilitate the expansion in a harmonious way which will enrich the educational environment for both sets of pupils. sumbee
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Fri 14 Mar 14

captain_shamrock says...

OlBaloney wrote:
This LibDem Councillors in Kingston are clearly incompetent idiots.

Roll on the Council Elections in May when Kingston residents can seize the opportunity to replace them.
And exactly how many permanent school places have the Tories refused to support in Surbiton?

When there was an even more desperate need for places 3 years ago, the Tories bitterly campaigned AGAINST the new Lime Tree school (420 places).

And the Tories still haven't changed their spots - they refused to support the very recent expansion ( & great new MUGA playing fields ) at Christ Church School, Surbiton (120 places ).

It's all in the council minutes, in black and white for local parents to read.

I recall Tory councillors running petitions AGAINST multiple school expansions in other parts of the borough.

An absolute disgrace that the Tories are now pretending to be on the side of parents. Do you really think parents are going to fall for your bare faced duplicity?

Kingston Tories had many years to support these new primary school places, but refused to do so. Instead, all across the borough they whipped up Nimby opposition to school expansion, and never came up with any credible alternatives to address the very real shortage of school places.

The Tory failure to come up with any credible alternatives to address the school place shortage lays bare their lies that they acted in the interests of parents. In admirable contrast, the Lib Dems steamed ahead, and got on with the job of creating much needed new places. The Lib Dems deserve recognition for their real actual delivery of real actual school places, not scaremongering petitions against them.

If I were the Lib Dem election co-ordinator, I'd launch a "Guess How Many School Places the Tories refused to support" competition and encourage all parents to enter.

.
[quote][p][bold]OlBaloney[/bold] wrote: This LibDem Councillors in Kingston are clearly incompetent idiots. Roll on the Council Elections in May when Kingston residents can seize the opportunity to replace them.[/p][/quote]And exactly how many permanent school places have the Tories refused to support in Surbiton? When there was an even more desperate need for places 3 years ago, the Tories bitterly campaigned AGAINST the new Lime Tree school (420 places). And the Tories still haven't changed their spots - they refused to support the very recent expansion ( & great new MUGA playing fields ) at Christ Church School, Surbiton (120 places ). It's all in the council minutes, in black and white for local parents to read. I recall Tory councillors running petitions AGAINST multiple school expansions in other parts of the borough. An absolute disgrace that the Tories are now pretending to be on the side of parents. Do you really think parents are going to fall for your bare faced duplicity? Kingston Tories had many years to support these new primary school places, but refused to do so. Instead, all across the borough they whipped up Nimby opposition to school expansion, and never came up with any credible alternatives to address the very real shortage of school places. The Tory failure to come up with any credible alternatives to address the school place shortage lays bare their lies that they acted in the interests of parents. In admirable contrast, the Lib Dems steamed ahead, and got on with the job of creating much needed new places. The Lib Dems deserve recognition for their real actual delivery of real actual school places, not scaremongering petitions against them. If I were the Lib Dem election co-ordinator, I'd launch a "Guess How Many School Places the Tories refused to support" competition and encourage all parents to enter. . captain_shamrock
  • Score: 7

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