Monday, 23 October 2017

School offers land as possible site for homes

CHILTERN Edge School has asked to be included as part of the Sonning Common neighbourhood plan.

CHILTERN Edge School has asked to be included as part of the Sonning Common neighbourhood plan.

The 39-acre school is located in the Kidmore End parish boundary but governors have asked Sonning Common Parish Council if it can become the 15th site listed for potential development.

Kidmore End Parish Council agreed it fell into the “community” of Sonning Common, which South Oxfordshrie District Council had advised the plan should cover, and suggested its inclusion.

The district council must now decide whether it will be included.

Headteacher Daniel Sadler said governors were “determined” to maximise the benefit of the site for both pupils and the local community.

It already has a number of co-located activities on the site, including Bishopswood Special School, Alphabet Day Nursery, Club SC, Adult Learning and Rainbow Children Centre.

“Many village organisations use the site for annual or more regular events,” said Mr Sadler.

“There are considerable costs involved in maintaining such a large site for a small school. It is sensible for us to explore all possible avenues to improve sporting facilities and teaching accommodation.”

Since converting to foundation status last year, Chiltern Edge has been owned by the governors.

Mr Sadler said they asked the council if it could be included in the neighbourhood plan to ensure future development is in tune with the wishes and needs of both the school and community.

“The school is open minded about any future development on the site and no plans have been drawn up or submitted at this stage,” he said.

“We hope that future plans will result from a positive dialogue with the neighbourhood plan working group.”

Mr Sadler said no development under the neighbour hood plan would take place before 2017 and it would be subject to a full consultation process.

Any potential sale of school land for development would also have to be referred to the Secretary of State for Education.

He added: “We are committed to improving the facilities on our site to ensure that local children have the best possible learning environment.

“We are confident that this can be achieved in partnership with the village community through the neighbourhood plan.”

Councillor Barrie Greenwood, who chairs the Sonning Common Parish Council planning committee, said the site would now be included in the neighbourhood plan housing survey.

He said: “We’re obligated to do the surveys for any landowner who puts forward a site for inclusion but we’re still waiting for the district council to put it on the strategic housing and land availability assessment list.

“We will want to do the survey very soon because we’ve done the rest and are now beginning to move into the design phase so we’re hoping the request is accepted.”



ends



THE governors of Chiltern Edge School say they might allow some of the school’s 39 acres to be used for development.

They have asked for the school to be included in the Sonning Common neighbourhood plan even though it is in Kidmore End parish.

Kidmore End Parish Council is supporting the request, saying the school falls into the “community” of Sonning Common.

South Oxfordshire District Council must now decide whether it should be included.

Chiltern Edge is run by the governors after the school converted to foundation status last year.

Headteacher Daniel Sadler said they were determined to maximise the benefit of the site for both pupils and the local community.

He said: “There are considerable costs involved in maintaining such a large site for a small school.

“It is sensible for us to explore all possible avenues to improve sporting facilities and teaching accommodation.

“The school is open- minded about any future development on the site and no plans have been drawn up or submitted at this stage.

“We hope that future plans will result from a positive dialogue with the neighbourhood plan working group.”

Any potential sale of school land for development would have to be referred to the Secretary of State for Education.

Mr Sadler added: “We are committed to improving the facilities on our site to ensure that local children have the best possible learning environment.

“We are confident that this can be achieved in partnership with the village community through the neighbourhood plan.”

The school already has a number of co-located activities on the site, including Bishopswood Special School, the Alphabet Day Nursery, Club SC and the Rainbow Children’s Centre. Many village organisations also use it for annual or more regular events.

Barrie Greenwood, chairman of Sonning Common Parish Council’s planning committee, said the school would now be included in a survey about the neighbourhood plan.

He said: “We’re obligated to do the survey for any landowner who puts forward a site for inclusion but we’re still waiting for the district council to put it on the strategic housing and land availability assessment list.

“We will want to do the survey very soon because we’ve done the rest and are now beginning to move into the design phase so we’re hoping the request is accepted.”

The parish council has already recommended five sites to be included in the plan, one of them as a potential recreation area.

Another three locations, including one which would be considered for recreational use only, could also be included. Public consultation suggested there was consensus on the recommendations.

In March, Peppard Parish Council agreed to give one of its sites, called Son 13, to Sonning Common for its neighbourhood plan but refused to allow a housing survey to be distributed in the village.

More News:

Latest video from

VIDEO: WW2 battles relived at Mapledurham
 

POLL: Have your say