SURREY, England—Michael Gove has appealed against the decision to refuse permission to change an office site to a permanent site for a free school. An appeal and a second application to change the use of Pioneer House, in Hollybush Hill, Stoke Poges, which is home to Khalsa Secondary School, was submitted earlier this month. The free school was opened in September last year, and due to a change in law was given temporary rights to stay on the site for a year.
Since then the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove submitted an application, hoping to secure the land permanently for use as a school. This was rejected unanimously at the South Bucks District Council planning committee in January. Now Mr Gove has re-applied to change the status of the site and appealed the committee’s decision.
Campaigners have said they are against the school remaining on the site due to the impact it has on traffic and home to school transport. They have also said the school is not needed in south Bucks, claiming there is no shortage of places.
District Councillor for Stoke Poges Trevor Egleton has been joining campaigners in their fight, he said: “This application has been a travesty from the very beginning.
“The Department for Education have acted like the worst developer in the world, with every single aspect of what they are proposing in contravention of several national and local planning policies.”
Principal Rose Codling said: “We can confirm that the Department for Education has submitted an appeal against the refusal of the Class K application.
“The Department has also submitted a new Class K application to South Bucks District Council to consider in light of revised traffic information and assessment.”
GetBucks reported earlier this month how some parents were surprised to receive letters saying their children were allocated places at the school despite it not being put down as one of their choices. The county council has said people can appeal, but that the allocations could be due to late forms.
Mrs Codling also said parents were working from ‘misinformation’ about the role the Sikh faith played in the school day after parents raised concerns over its no meat lunch policy. She further said that this was due to health not faith. Comments on the plans have to be submitted by April 9. A decision is expected by May 11.