05:18AM, Thursday 12 December 2013
A debate which has been raging since 2011 finally came to an end as plans to move Oldfield Primary School to Bray Road were approved.
The school currently located in Chiltern Road, which has been described as 'bursting at the seams', will be relocated and doubled in size to a capacity of 420 pupils - subject to MP Eric Pickles' go ahead.
The unanimous decision was made by the Royal Borough's development control panel at an extraordinary meeting in front of hundreds of spectators at the Holiday Inn in Manor Lane last night.
Public speakers argued their point passionately, although adding nothing new to the long-standing debate, before it was left to the borough to quickly and concisely rubber stamp their approval on the £10m project.
The panel agreed the major objections had been met and Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside) told them: "It's live or die tonight.
"Our town is going places. We are going to have a fantastic town and we are going to need fantastic schools."
Concerns over traffic were brushed aside with the proposal of a right-hand turn lane and 'kiss and drop' zones.
All parties were uncomfortable with siting the new school on the green belt but Cllr Philip Love (Con, Belmont) argued the permanent loss of openness would be minimal as there are currently houses on one side and hedges on the other.
If approved by the Secretary of State for communities and local government, work is expected to start in March 2014 and could be completed by March 2015.
At a previous meeting in September, a four hour heated debate ended in stalemate, with councillors asking for other options to be fully explored first.
Oldfield Primary School is rated as outstanding by Ofsted and headmaster Richard Jarrett was delighted with the decision to relocate.
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