04:00PM, Thursday 04 January 2018
Proposals for a new Claires Court campus and the redevelopment of the independent school’s existing sites to create 221 homes have been submitted to the Royal Borough.
The £36m campus would merge the school’s existing sites in College Avenue and Ray Mill Road, with pupils relocating to the new facility at the site of Claires Court’s Junior Boys school at Ridgeway, off Cannon Lane.
The school has teamed up with Berkeley Homes, which plans to redevelop the three sites to build 157 homes at Cannon Lane, 53 in College Avenue and 11 at Ray Mill Road.
The new homes, which would include 30 per cent affordable housing, would help to finance the school's development.
Claires Court is the largest independent day school in the borough, providing education for about 1,100 boys and girls, aged three to 18.
The new campus would allow the school to reach its full capacity of 1,190 pupil places.
Hugh Wilding, administrative principal at Claires Court, said the development was vital to ensure the long-term future of the school.
He said: “Claires Court has gone from strength to strength over the years.
“However, our existing school buildings are old, costly to upkeep and increasingly unsuitable for delivering the high-quality education our parents require us to deliver.
“Our new school campus, with purpose-built learning and sporting facilities, is designed to provide for the long-term future of the school on a sustainable basis and deliver an exceptional learning experience for future generations of pupils.”
The campus will also serve as a permanent new home to Maidenhead Hockey Club, whose members will share the new sports facilities.
The school, which was founded by the parents of current principals Hugh and James Wilding in 1960, started consulting over the scheme in July 2016.
It faced opposition from a residents group, Cox Green Says No, which raised concerns over
infrastructure and increased traffic.
A petition set up by the group to stop the expansion received more than 2,350 signatures.
Addressing the concerns, Mr Wilding said the proposals would reduce traffic congestion around the two town centre school sites and there would be a new roundabout and road widening on Cannon Lane to service a new access road to the campus.
Five linked applications, two from Claires Court and three from Berkeley Homes, were submitted to the council on Friday, December 22.
The plans have not yet been validated by the plannign department.
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