Rydens Enterprise School has been given permission to create a new access point for a new access point at its new development, in what one council described as the most contentious planning issue in 35 years.

Previous meetings have been dogged by heated debate but the issue passed with relatively little friction this week, despite ongoing concerns about safety.

The Walton school faces further hurdles to build 296 residential units, a replacement secondary school and sixth form college, following the demolition of the existing school and sixth form college.

The main point of concern at the full planning committee meeting on Tuesday, November 18, was the safety of the proposed turning point into the school from Hersham Road.

Councillor Roy Green said: "In my 35 years that I've been knocking around this council, I have never come across such a contentious issue."

He said the school was desperately in need of repair work and concluded the committee should approve the access way, saying "I don't think we have any other option".

Unable to fully discuss Surrey County Council's recommendation to approve the access point at the last meeting on November 3, due to a lack of representative, Councillor Mary Sheldon highlighted the need to have one present to take the committee through the plans. She said: "I'm not a highways expert, I'm not someone who knows about those things."

Dominic Forbes, planning development group manager at Surrey County Council, was at the meeting and allayed fears by confirming an extensive amount of time had been spent going over the different options for the access point.

He said: "I firmly believe that the option we have before us is the optimum option."

Councillors agreed Rydens needed to be updated, but stressed they should be careful with each element of the process to make sure the development lasts.

Councillor Janet Turner said: "It needs to be a really good school for the future so lets get it right, let's get it perfect."

The full planning committee was unanimous in their vote to permit the new access way to Rydens School.