05:17AM, Wednesday 20 November 2013
Public speakers are being given a last-ditch chance to argue the case for and against Oldfield Primary School moving to a greenbelt site before a decision is made.
The Royal Borough's Maidenhead development control panel will make a final call on the council's own controversial relocation plans at an extraordinary public meeting.
It will be held at the Holiday Inn in Manor Lane on Wednesday, December 11.
The venue will have space for 300 members of the public to attend and speakers from both camps can register beforehand to address the decision-making panel on the night.
The £9m plan by the borough to move the school from Chiltern Road to a field off Bray Road has been heavily criticised by opponents.
They say the build would be completely inappropriate as it is a greenbelt field and in a floodplain.
More than 600 people have signed the Oldfield Action Group's petition supporting the move to Bray Road.
The action group says a new site is needed as Oldfield Primary is oversubscribed.
The Royal Borough is also exploring alternative projects. These include building over Green Lane allotments, or adding a storey to the Chiltern Road site.
But the Oldfield Action Group says Bray Road is the best option as the alternatives require complicated relocations and compulsory purchases.
On Monday, December 2, the group will walk from Chiltern Road to Maidenhead Town Hall.
Its petition will be received by the chairman of the development panel, Cllr Derek Wilson (Con, Oldfield).
Action group member Sarah Green says parents in the catchment area are concerned their children will not get places at the school unless it expands.
On Saturday Oldfield was named as one of the best state-run primary school in the country.
Sarah said: "I think it's an amazing thing. It makes me think there is all the more reason we should be supporting the expansion, so all the children in the catchment area can have a place."
To register to speak at the meeting, contact democratic services officer Rob Cowan on 01628 796310.
Follow the debate in the letters pages in tomorrow’s Maidenhead Advertiser.
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