05:43PM, Thursday 09 June 2016
Proposals to expand Holyport College were approved by councillors with no discussion at Maidenhead Development Control Panel last night.
The plans will see a single-storey extension added to the dining hall and a single-storey extension to the sports hall at the school site in Ascot Road.
Although the proposal is considered ‘inappropriate development within the greenbelt’ it was recommended the application be approved due to ‘very special circumstances’.
Cllr Leo Walters (Con, Bray) proposed a motion to approve which was seconded by Cllr David Coppinger (Con, Bray).
Councillors unanimously agreed to approve the plans.
The meeting comes almost a year after the Fair Funding for Borough Schools campaign was launched by a group of parents, angered by a grant of £480,000 to the school to allow it to expand to accommodate an extra 48 pupils.
However, some residents have asked why the application has not been further scrutinised by councillors.
Kate Sheehan, who was part of the Fair Funding campaign, has emailed councillors asking why the Royal Borough is paying for what she believes is expansion beyond the need of an extra 48 pupils.
In the email, she stated: “The changing area is being increased by approximately 85 per cent, with an increase of 70 bench spaces.
“As there are only 48 additional pupils, why is the RBWM residents paying for the additional space?
“The kitchen has almost doubled in size; this has been clearly designed to accommodate more than 48 pupils.
“On reviewing the size requirements set down by central government, the additional space required to accommodate 48 additional pupils is approximately 79 square metres. Why is the RBWM paying for an additional 100 square metres more?”
In a statement issued after the meeting a spokesman from Holyport College said: "RBWM pledged £480,000 to the college for the specific purpose of two building projects. It is the college’s understanding that this amount is based on a calculation of £10,000 per additional pupil."
"The college always ensures restricted funds are used for the identified purposes and audited in preparing its statutory accounts, as will be the case with the contribution from RBWM when the funds are claimed."
"There are no restrictions on the configuration of the spaces being designed for these two projects and the college has worked with architects and other specialist contractors to ensure the most appropriate solution is delivered, including supplementing the contribution from the council with its own funds where required."
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