09:59AM, Thursday 19 September 2013
A heated and emotional debate over whether to approve plans to move Oldfield Primary School to a new site ended in stalemate last night.
More than 100 people packed into the Desborough Suite at Maidenhead Town Hall to hear councillors discuss the merits of the proposal, which would see a 420-place school built on greenbelt land in Bray Road.
The move is opposed by members of the Bray Action Group (BRAG) who handed councillors a petition containing 230 signatures calling for the Royal Borough to reject the application.
Headteacher at Oldfield Primary School, Richard Jarrett, also delivered a rousing speech saying: "The new school would give children the best learning experience.
"Oldfield is a wonderful school and we would like to share it with another generation."
But members of the Maidenhead Development Control panel were underwhelmed by the application and called for other potential sites to be looked at.
"You cannot build it there," said Cllr John Stretton (Con, Bisham and Cookham).
"There are other sites. There is one that stands out for me and that is the Stafferton Way site."
Fears were also raised about the impact of traffic the new school would have along Bray Road.
Cllr Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams) said: "There does need to be some car parking for parents, I think this has not been well thought out enough."
Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield) added he did not want the 'death of a child on his conscience' and argued neighbouring houses could be significantly impacted by an increase in traffic caused by the new school.
Following four hours of debate, councillors eventually tabled two motions, one to defer the application and one to reject it outright.
But a majority vote to defer the application means the plans are set to be brought back to councillors in November while further investigations into a potential other site are carried out.
Traffic modelling and further examination into the flood risk of the Bray Road site will also be carried out.
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