Sutton North Lib Dem Councillors

Cllrs Ruth Dombey, Marlene Heron and Steve Penneck working hard for Sutton North all year round Learn more

Conservative Government to decide on school for Rosehill Park

by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 21 February, 2020

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has decided to ‘recover’ the appeal for the Rosehill school – that is he has decided to make the decision on the appeal himself.  He is able to this under the legislation, although it is not usual for an application for a school.  It means that the appeal scheduled for 18 March will go ahead, but instead of the independent Planning Inspector making the decision on the appeal, he will instead make a recommendation to the minister, who will take the decision. 

The Planning Inspector is due to report by the middle of June, but the minister’s decision may not be until after the summer holidays. The Inspectors report will not be published until after the decision has been made. The minister says he has decided to take the decision on the school himself, as the ‘appeal relates to proposals for development of major importance having more than local significance.’  Though it is not clear why this is. 

Says Cllr Steve Penneck: ‘This intervention by the minister means they will be judge and jury on their own application.  The Conservative government, whose local councillors voted in favour of this poor quality scheme at the Planning Committee in September, are clearly concerned at the strength of the Council’s case.  They have set themselves clearly against the interests of local residents who want to ensure that if a school is built on the park, it is of a high quality design, and the parking and road safety aspects are properly dealt with.’

Further information on the appeal hearing: it will start at 10am on Weds 18 March, at the Holiday Inn, Sutton. Subsequent days will start at 9.30am. The Inquiry will be focusing on:

  1. the design, massing, height and siting of the proposed school, and its impact on the area;
  2. the effect of traffic, access and parking on the road network and pedestrian safety; and
  3. the effect on air quality

They plan to hear representations from residents on the first day, after opening statements from the appellant and the Council. The Inspector will visit the site early on in the hearing (which could take up to a week), but at that visit will not be able to listen to representations. The inquiry will then hear evidence on the design issue, then on traffic, and finally on air quality.

Finally the Inspector will look at the implications of not proceeding with the school.


2 Responses

  1. Catherine castles says:

    For god sake the area is too small traffic is queuing already in the morning and evening with all the small roads including mine becoming a rat race I can’t get out of my drive some days
    Put in the mix the tennis centre traffic and we will have complete gridlock
    Anyone who gives the go ahead for this ridiculous idea has clearly not done there homework and clearly does not live in the area
    And lastly your taking away much needed green land

  2. W Johnson says:

    So, is this the new “democracy”? Residents roundly reject a plan to build a school on their much-treasured, peaceful and green Rosehill Park and yet the conservative government is about to override the overwhelming wishes of local residents. It was clearly laid out why this idea to build a school on our much-loved park was ill-advised from the start due to its deleterious impact on the local environment and our quality of life. This Boris-led government should remember that residents are also voters – we will punish at the polls a government who deliberately ignores our wishes.

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