A proposal to expand a special needs school has been approved, despite opposition from governors at a neighbouring school.

Dysart School, in Ewell Road, Surbiton, wants to create 24 extra spaces for students with complex learning difficulties using a £1,000,250 grant from the Education Funding Agency.

It plans to build classrooms for post-16 students on playing fields at the back of the school site, on land owned by Kingston Council and shared with St Matthew’s Primary School, in Langley Road.

But governors at St Matthew’s have written to Kingston Council chief executive Bruce McDonald accusing the authority of a “fait accompli”.

A letter from Wendy Wilkinson, chairwoman of governors at St Matthew’s, was made public at the children, youth and leisure committee on Tuesday, before councillors approved the expansion.

The letter read: “It should be made known that any considerations by St Matthew’s to build on some of the land now to be developed by Dysart School never reached fruitation as we were informed we would never be allowed to develop the land, thwarting any vision we may have had for improving our school.

“As a result, it was sensitively turned into our prized nature area. Imagine our surprise when permission was granted to Dysart School to build on the land, which has been a part of St Matthew’s School for some 40 years.

“Our attempts to have our concerns addressed, up to this point, have been dealt with in a very dismissive manner, as if the project is a fait accompli and our concerns have a nuisance value only.”

Surrey Comet:

The land is owned by Kingston Council and shared between Dysart and St Matthew's 

Surbiton Councillor and leader of the opposition Liz Green said: “I don’t think St Matthew’s is particularly against expansion at Dysart, they recognise the need – the issues are about planning.”

Dysart headteacher Leigh Edser said: “The Dysart community is over the moon. It means that we can move forward and ensure that we can provide extra places.”

Surrey Comet:

Dysart headteacher Leigh Edser has previously said the expansion is "much needed"

A planning application is yet to be submitted but, if approved, building work is expected to start in January 2015 and be completed within five months.

Dysart currently has 72 children, aged four to 19.

It is one of only three special needs schools in the borough.