07:00PM, Saturday 11 March 2017
The school will move into Braywick Nature Centre as part of the expansion.
The removal of trees for the proposed new Braywick Court School has been branded ‘dishonest’ by a campaign group.
On Monday, a post on the Save Braywick Park blog said plans to pull down trees as part of the redevelopment of Braywick Court School were not included in the original application.
Plans for the expansion of Braywick Court were approved in July last year and include taking over the park's nature centre building.
It would allow Braywick Court, run by the Bellevue Place Education Trust (BPET), to grow and take on 210 pupils by September 2020.
New documents were submitted to the borough under conditions imposed when the application was approved.
This includes supporting information on the removal of trees for access to the site, added on Monday.
The document lists 17 trees which would be removed but the Save Braywick Park group says the total comes in at 23 as some of those listed are groups of trees.
John Williams from the group said: ‘It is shocking that the council's own planning report didn’t mention any trees to be felled for Braywick Court School’s development.
“Even if they eventually plant new trees, it will be generations before they reach the size of those being chopped down.”
Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray) said losing ‘some really nice trees’ is the only option for access to the site but added there are plans to plant new trees once the development is completed.
About the loss of trees only coming to light now, he said: “They would not have been included, this comes later, it is part of the conditions.
“We have to agree an access route for them and it appears the only choice is that the lorries will go through the garden to the nature centre.”
A spokesman for BPET said it ‘took great care’ during the planning process to not risk any damage to significant trees in the reserve but the scheme includes work on ‘a small number of trees and bushes around the centre’.
He added: “The area will then be enhanced by the nature centre on the completion of the school works.
“We are keen the pupils of Braywick Court School will play an active role in the conservation of the local environment.”
Cllr Coppinger added he plans to organise sessions for residents who are ‘quite rightly concerned’ to visit the site with a tree officer.
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