Braywick Court School expansion plans recommended for refusal

Grace Witherden

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Grace Witherden

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Braywick Court School expansion plans recommended for refusal

Artist impressions of Braywick Court School

Supporters of Braywick Court School have been left disappointed after Bray Parish Council recommended their expansion plans should be turned down by the borough.

More than 40 members of the public attended the planning meeting at Braywood Memorial Hall on Monday, June 6 to hear the application debated.

The school has submitted controversial plans to build a part single, part two storey school building on the site in Hibbert Road following the demolition of existing buildings.

Some residents have criticised the plans due to concerns over the travel plan and the size of the building.

Speaking on behalf of the application, Gemma Donnelly, headteacher at the school said the current buildings are ‘out of date’ and did not meet ‘modern teaching standards’.

She said: “We love our setting in the beautiful Braywick Nature Reserve and it is one of the things that makes the school what it is.

“Unfortunately, there are many disappointed families whom we do not have space for in the school, because demand was so high most of the children joining in September live less than a mile away from the school.”

The school, which opened in September 2014, is run by the Belleview Education Trust and opened on the former site of Winbury School, which shut in 2011.

Michael Alcock spoke against the application on behalf of the Hibbert Road Residents Association. He said the new plans were a ‘standing glass monstrosity’ and  the travel plan had ‘major drawbacks’.

He added: “The massive new structure will overwhelm every other building in the neighbourhood, destroying the tranquil residential leafy area.

“Building a new school on this site has staggered from one badly thought out plan to another and this latest one takes the biscuit. We know there are at least three other sites available.

Cllr Margaret Pierce (Ind, Bray) said there was not much space on the site for a playground of 210 pupils.

Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Holyport) supported the application because of the ‘clear demand for school places across the borough’.

The plan was recommended for refusal by Cllr Ken Elvin (Ind, Bray) due to it being an overdevelopment on the site, and this was passed with seven votes for and three against.

Cllr Simon Dudley abstained from the vote, and Cllr David Burbage arrived at the meeting after the vote had taken place.

It is not yet known when the application will go before Maidenhead Development Control Panel for a final decision.

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