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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Highways Contact on September 29, 2014, 09:25:05 AM

 



Title: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Highways Contact on September 29, 2014, 09:25:05 AM
Expressions of interest are being sort for a potential new secondary school at Imber Court to be operated by Cobham Free School Trust. This is for students 11-18 years. If you would like more information and would like to express an interest see: 

http://www.cobhamfreeschool.org.uk/imbercourt




Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Keith on September 29, 2014, 10:46:12 PM
The logical place for a much needed new secondary school.


Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Keith on September 30, 2014, 09:25:20 AM
Quote from: Keith on September 29, 2014, 10:46:12 PM
The logical place for a much needed new secondary school.


However, this wants careful watching for what they don't say.  If a new Free School was associated with a dependent request to develop the green belt there for a couple of hundred houses in order to pay for the establishment of the school then that would be a less welcome matter.  Those offering public support at this early stage should, I think, be careful what they wish for.

In the present climate, the dying days of the coalition government, there is little chance of a state secondary school being projected at Imber Court - for purely ideological reasons.  But I think that would be a far better, and potentially less destructive, option than a new free school which might come with a huge price to pay in terms of housing development (which would also increase pressure on all local schooling in due course).  The opinion polls point to a Labour-dominated government in the next Parliament, which would likely be more favourable to a state school.

It would be helpful if perhaps one of our councillors could summarise how things went for residents in Cobham with the new free school there.





Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Highways Contact on September 30, 2014, 11:36:25 AM
Keith

If it helps, I contacted Howard Morris from CFS: 

There is a restrictive covenant on all the playing fields that states that the land can only be used for sport and recreation use. The CFS proposal is to convert the existing social club into a school and rebuild a new pavilion with up to date facilities elsewhere on the 90 acres. CFS is required, as part of the application, to identify a number of possible sites.  If approved the Education Funding Agency will be responsible for securing any site.

Early days, hope this helps.

Highways


Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Keith on September 30, 2014, 11:42:58 AM
Thanks, Andrew, that's a very helpful clarification.


Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Keith on September 30, 2014, 02:04:19 PM
Imber Court Sports and Social Club is reported as stating:
"Following a web page being made public on Cobham Free Schools website regarding a new Imber Court Free School and subsequent emails being sent out to support the application. Imber Court Sports and Social Club would like to assure all those who are concerned that there are no plans to build a school on our grounds and neither have we consulted with any body in relation to this scheme."

BBC item of 4 June on Cobham Free School's plans for joint development of 500 homes in Cobham here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-27686449:
"....The school, based in the old police station on Portsmouth Road, has been working with Cala Homes to prepare an outline planning application for a new development including 500 new homes on the green belt land.... Cala Homes  pulled out of plans to build new premises, citing problems agreeing terms with the landowner. " 

There is ample material in online searches on the background and controversial progress of the school's plans in Cobham.



Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Keith on September 30, 2014, 06:42:28 PM
The Sports Club's statement begs a question.  I wonder, Andrew, whether you could you ask your CFS contact:
a.  Has CFS contacted the landowner (Met Police) about this possible site?
b.  If so, what was the response?


Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Keith on October 01, 2014, 02:17:35 PM
CFS have now sent out further advice that: "No negotiations or discussions had been held with either the Met Police or Imber Court"


Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Elmbridgeblue on October 02, 2014, 05:43:13 PM
Cobham Free School's primary section has been open for some time now in the old Police Station on Portsmouth Road. It is doing very well, is heavily over-subscribed and has pushed the local CofE primary, St Andrews, to up its game. I'm sure the Head would happily welcome your readers if they wanted to have a look round.

Last year they announced that they wished to open a secondary branch on green belt land owned by the Burhill Estate, who are ultimately part of the Guinness family estate. The Burhill Estate have wanted to develop this land for years and were prepared to give some of the land to the school provided they were given permission to build up to 500 houses on the site. Needless to say the prospect of 500 new houses was deeply unpopular and the designated developer, Cala Homes withdrew when it became apparent that planning permission would be unlikely to be granted. CFS then began the search for a new site.

Recently they announced that they have entered into an agreement to purchase a piece of land which for those who know Cobham is behind the BMW garage (invisible from the road). They have not yet applied for planning permission but as they do not require any houses to be built for the project to succeed they have a much better chance of gaining permission than they did for their previous site. The local organisations which opposed the 500 homes plan quite vociferously are less concerned about the new proposal. There is however some opposition from those who reject Free Schools in principle and those who object to any building on non-brownfield land without exception.

About 8 years ago there was a major survey of local residents carried out by the Envisage project: http://www.envisage.org.uk/. One of the main requirement of local residents was for a secondary school and it may well be that CFS can provide the answer to this. 


Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Admin on October 03, 2014, 09:57:53 AM
Thanks for the useful roundup on CFS, elmbridgeblue. A new secondary school in this area open and free to all, and without any unacceptable devlopment baggage attached, would be most welcome.


Title: Re: Potential new Secondary School at Imber Court
Post by: Juninho on October 06, 2014, 03:55:27 PM
Just to add my two penneth as I think some of the posting comments on this thread can be misconstrued.

The link in the op's post is just to indicate an interest in a new school. Unless I have completely misunderstood.

Reservations on how this will be built and funded as well as the impact are all valid concerns but by simply indicating an interest now - that would not preclude opining on the impact once the full plans were known?

I think most people agree there is a potential shortage of secondary school places- whilst I am not suggesting this should be embraced without reservation - to me they are two issues that can be dealt with independently.

I'm probably not making sense and might have got the wrong end of the stick so happy to be corrected...




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