Agenda item

22/00077/FULPSI: Harrier Primary School Land Adjacent A13 and Love Lane Aveley Essex


The report was presented by the Senior Planner.


The Chair of the Committee commented on the energy efficiency rating. The Senior Planner explained within the planning policy it stated an ‘outstanding/’ energy rating should be achieved however the school was offering an efficiency rating a ‘very good’.


Councillor Halden enquired as to why bulge classes were not being used given the time restraints. The Strategic Lead Education Support Services

explained the Pupil Place Plan assisted officers in forecasting the number of students expected for the coming year, she stated that in-year applications were also to be taken into account and the current local schools in the area were filling up quickly.


During discussions it was highlighted there were 88 school places required within Aveley, Councillor Halden commented he understood there was pressure for school places within the area, however the number of spaces required for this year didn't seem a valid reason to approve the application as a matter of urgency. He continued by stating he agreed new schools were required however with this application he had concerns with its design. This was echoed by Councillor Little who also remarked she had concerns with the design of the application.


The Strategic Lead Education Support Services advised Members if approved the school would be opened as a two form entry, starting as one form entry to begin with, having the ability to become two form entry and grow with the number of children within the area when required. She continued by advising the Committee the Pupil Place Plan was reviewed annually,and for the last four years there had been bulge classes at  Benyon Primary however this was no longer suitable. Members heard how the free school had been approved by the Department for Education.


It was observed by Members and commented they had the impression officers were not entirely happy with the design of the application, however even with this in mind some were minded to approve the application, if it was to ease the pressure on local schools. It was comment as to whether it would be possible to negotiate with the applicant with regards to the design so that it was in line with the council's policy.


Councillor Watson enquired as when the school was to be opened. The Strategic Lead Education Support Services confirmed the school was hoping to open in 2023.


Speaker statements were heard from:


Statement of Support: Michelle Davies, Agent


During the debate Councillor Halden suggested the application be deferred given the concerns raised by Members and to be able to have a more in depth conversations with the applicant. As well as to receive more information of the Local Plan. He continued by stating he didn't feel the decision was one which urgently needed to be made at this meeting.


Councillor Polley mention she felt there were too many unanswered questions with regards to the application one of which was there was no travel plan.


Councillor Piccolo reminded the committee this was Green Belt land and if developing on then it should have a quality development. He echoed Councillor Polley's concerns with regards to there not being a travel plan which for him included pick up and drop off points. The Highways Engineer advised Members a travel plan was not required to include pick up and drop off areas, however officers had asked for these to be included.


Councillor Watson echoed her fellow Members concerns relating to the Local Plan and there not being a travel plan included with the application. She stated she was not against a new school however it needed to be built in the right place to meet the needs of children in the borough. She further stated she also agreed with the suggestion of a deferral for the application.

The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection advised the committee he had listened to the debate and discussion had by Members and had made a note of their concerns.


Councillor Fletcher proposed an alternative recommendation that the application be deferred and was seconded by Councillor Halden. Members put forward the following reasons to defer the application:


  • Although there was a condition set out within the report, Members were concerned a travel plan had not been included within the application.


  • Loss of cultural land, again while addressed in the report and taken into account in the balance of the Greenbelt decision making process. Members asked to see the assessment of the agricultural land before they made a decision.


  • The design of the application and the urgency to approve the application within a 10 week deadline period, given the design didn’t entirely meet the councils policy.


For: (8) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Mike Fletcher, James Halden, Terry Piccolo, Susan Little, Georgette Polley and Lee Watson


Against: (0)


Abstained (0)


Supporting documents: