Thursday, 27 November 2014

RBWM Councillor Geoff Hill's 'Skewed' view of the new path...

If you've read some of our previous posts then you know how we feel about this path already - part of Braywick Court School's unworkable 'travel plan'.

It was built without any public consultation & in our opinion is an unnecessary eyesore through a beautiful wild area of Braywick Park.

EDIT: Thanks to a bit of twitter activity (www.twitter.com/savebraywickpk) Councillors Dudley & Hill say they will 'have RBWM officers visit and assess what can be done'. Watch this space... 


These photos below were taken 3 days before the tweet above...










This is the pothole ridden, single track road that cars have to use to access the drop-off car park where the path starts. Will be interesting to see how things develop as the school's numbers increase...


Monday, 27 October 2014

New 'Public Consultation' - Please fill in form or write BEFORE FRIDAY 31 OCTOBER

Braywick Court School held an Exhibition of their plans for the site on Wednesday. The plans still involve a massive overdevelopment of the former Winbury School site, use of Public Open Space from Braywick Park, taking over the Nature Centre & building a replacement one ON BRAYWICK PARK. 

Braywick Park is a beautiful park, and is Green Belt. This level of development is required because Bellevue Place Education Trust wants this 'Free' School to accommodate 210 pupils, whereas before, when the site was Winbury School it only ever had at most, 90.

There is a consultation form about these plans (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FORM) which MUST BE EMAILED TO rebecca.skinner@eu.jll.com BY FRIDAY 31 OCTOBER.

The plans can be seen on here:  http://www.braywickcourtschool.co.uk/public-exhibition/ The location of the Nature Centre is right on the last page of the 'Traffic Assessment' - [also at the bottom of this post to save you the trouble of digging it out!]

The form is a pdf which you can’t fill in on a computer easily so you will need to use adobe reader or another programme that allows you to fill in forms - or just copy the questions in and send as a letter/email.

Once you fill it in, please email to Rebecca Skinner by FRIDAY 31 October at rebecca.skinner@eu.jll.com.
(If you can’t open the file so that you can fill in the form, just write your own email, stating your name and address, and answering all or some of the questions which are listed below.)
  
In answering the questions, at this stage - short answers are enough. Types of comments you could make for the questions are as follows: BUT PLEASE USE YOUR OWN WORDING, AND NOT WHAT YOU SEE BELOW. Write what you think, and about the issues that matter most to you.

1. Do you support the design of the school’s infill extension?
NO – overdevelopment of the site; cramming a quart into a pint size plot; far too big; far too high; whatever you want to say about it.  

2. Do you agree with the proposed location of the Nature Centre?
There should be no need for a replacement Nature Centre which means loss of open space and green belt land. They want to take over the existing Nature Centre for classrooms for the school, so are having to build a replacement on the park. As mentioned above, the plans for the new Nature Centre are hidden away on the final page of the 'Traffic Assessment' (wonder why?) - we've dug it out and posted below.

3. Do you agree with the design of the proposed new Nature Centre?
Same as above

4. Do you agree with the proposal to close vehicular access to the school site from Hibbert Road?
They are referring to the entrance on the corner of Hibbert Road opposite Malvern House. It's pretty obvious this entrance should be closed on highway safety grounds anyway.

5. Do you agree with the proposal for school drop off and collection to be located in the existing car park to the north of the site?
No. Is this realistic? Are parents happy with it? Are all parents currently using the drop off and collection? Can’t see it being used in the winter when it is dark and raining etc. THE SCHOOL CAN'T MAKE PARENTS USE THIS FACILITY. Watch our video for the realities of how they say it is supposed to work... Write whatever you think.

Do you have any other comments on the draft proposals for the school or nature centre?  If so, please outline these in the box below.

Braywick Park shouldn’t be ruined by this proposed development which is on open space land and in the green belt. This is not an appropriate site for a school for 210 pupils as it is far too small. There are highway safety issues which have not been addressed. One could go on and on. Just have a look through all the posts on this site for whatever resonates with you - but most importantly PLEASE EMAIL THEM BY FRIDAY OCTOBER 31st.


-------

If you can’t fill in the form, then you can copy the questions below and answer as you see fit, and then send your email to rebecca.skinner@eu.jll.com.

1. Do you support the design of the school’s infill extension?  

2. Do you agree with the proposed location of the Nature Centre?    

3. Do you agree with the design of the proposed new Nature Centre?   

4. Do you agree with the proposal to close vehicular access to the school site from Hibbert Road?  

5. Do you agree with the proposal for school drop off and collection to be located in the existing car park to the north of the site?

Do you have any other comments on the draft proposals for the school or nature centre?  If so, please outline these in the box below.

--------

Here is the image of the proposed new location for the new Nature Centre they want to build on Braywick Park (they only want to do this because they want to take over the existing Nature Centre building for the School - because they want the school to accommodate more than twice the number of pupils it previously did when it was Winbury School - if they stuck to the original numbers, none of this would be necessary).

We understand this to be a prefabricated log cabin. Hardly a match for an early 19th century building with a heritage link to the town from a local benefactor as well. 


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

"Public Exhibition" on Weds 22nd October

There will be a 'Public Exhibition' on Weds 22 October at Braywick Court School / Braywick Nature Centre - presumably to show the latest plans - which they say will be up at www.braywickcourtschool.org.uk on Monday 20th Oct. 

Please go and have a look on the day - and voice your concerns if you have any. Although doing that in writing afterwards so it is properly recorded would be the best way...

OH, and read this beforehand perhaps - which we posted in July:

http://pleasedontbuildonthepark.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/original-planned-site-for-new-nature.html

Will be interested to see on what ground they think it's acceptable to build on this beautiful park, which is Green Belt land. Oh, and to see how they present what they probably originally intended anyway, as a 'concession'.


Interesting also that this is an 'exhibition' and not a 'consultation'. 

As we've seen from the recent 'disposal of public open space' debacle - RBWM already signed the lease over to Bellevue Place Education Trust before the public were even notified or given the opportunity to write with objections. If we "share our views" will anyone actually listen? We shall see...

#savebraywickpark



Thursday, 9 October 2014

"Councils Must Protect our precious Green Belt Land" - RBWM are you listening?

On the 4th October the Department for Communities & Local Government, Brandon Lewis MP & The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP published a press release and new guidance to encourage Councils to protect their Green Belt Land.

Click here to read the press release. Click here to read the 'new guidance'.

The Maidenhead Advertiser also covered the story below (although it's not strictly correct - the National Planning Policy Framework IS POLICY - what they amended on 4 Oct was the 'guidance').


Here's a few quotes from this government press release:
"Councils must protect our precious Green Belt Land" 
RBWM are you paying close attention?
"Councils should consider how they will protect and preserve important sites in their area, especially green belt sites." 
- Brandon Lewis (Minister of State for Housing and planning)
RBWM have already gone ahead with the new Oldfield School development on Green Belt land nearby, despite strong opposition, and Councillors are promoting the plans to build on Braywick Park (which is Green Belt) in the local press.
"This government has been very clear that when planning for new buildings, protecting our precious green belt must be paramount. Local people don’t want to lose their countryside to urban sprawl, or see the vital green lungs around their towns and cities to unnecessary development." 
- Eric Pickles (Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government) - Oct 6 2014
Will the Council please listen to this guidance FROM THE GOVERNMENT and protect our Green Belt? AND NOT BUILD ON GREEN BELT LAND IN BRAYWICK PARK!? 

They've already gone ahead & granted the lease & disposed of public open space in July, behind closed doors, before advertising the disposal to the public - encouraging a 'consultation' which was irrelevant as the lease had already been signed! 

They didn't even advertise the disposal properly, and failed to mention until afterwards, when questioned, that they had already signed the lease. 

Democratic? 


A consultation that comes after the decision has already been made isn't really a consultation is it? 


The Maidenhead advertiser are doing a poll on the general subject of protecting the green belt this week - might be worth a click:



Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Shame on the RBWM Council


THE LEASE OF 'PUBLIC OPEN SPACE' HAD ALREADY BEEN SIGNED - LONG BEFORE THEY EVEN ADVERTISED THE NOTICE FOR ITS DISPOSAL!!

Four weeks ago we noticed that the Council had made a mistake in not advertising the notice to dispose of open space at Braywick Park for two consecutive weeks and therefore the Council had to start the process a second time. 


Local residents & users of Braywick Park again took pen to paper to object to the loss of the open space, in particular the apple orchard which is the only grassed, dog free area in the whole of Braywick Park. The improvements to the apple orchard as well as the area immediately outside the Nature Centre were carried out only 2 to 3 years ago when the Council received funding through Groundwork South and Britvic. 

Now we find the advertising of the notice was all a sham as the Council had already signed the lease on the 3rd July! (The lease which covers the former Winbury School buildings, the buildings formerly leased to Winbury School and the open space).


(Confirmation received from Emma-Jane Brewerton of Shared Legal Solutions - who we wrote to with objections, and also reported here in an article in the Maidenhead Advertiser.)



According to the March Cabinet Report (click here to read)
" 2.8 The area of land between the two buildings (C) is currently designated Public Open Space. This will become enclosed and will be for the sole use of the school. The public will be consulted on the loss of the Public Open Space. Consultation will occur through the local media. Any objections to the proposed disposal must be considered in accordance with s123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972. If this part of the site is used for the purposes of school playing field in the future it may fall under the protection afforded to school playing fields and restrict future use.(The DfE definition of playing fields currently includes hardplay spaces)." 
Didn't happen.
"14.1 Braywick Court School has carried out its own consultations with the public. Prior to disposal of the open space RBWM has to advertise notice of intention to dispose of the land in question in accordance with s123 Local Government Act 1972 (as detailed para 5.4 above). "
You already know what we think about the School's 'public consultation'. (Read about it here).


OK, so they did advertise it - BUT ONLY AFTER THEY'D ALREADY GONE AHEAD AND GRANTED THE LEASE ANYWAY... Yay Democracy!(?)

There appears to be a conscious decision on the part of the Council to push through Braywick Court School without any regard to legislative procedures which require the Council to advertise its intention to dispose of the public open space and consider any objections before making its decision.

By not following the correct procedure, the Council has caused an injustice to all those residents who value Braywick Park and its open space.

The residents of Maidenhead deserve better governance from their officers and councillors.

Looks like the Council had forgotten and officers were going through the motions in the hope that residents wouldn't realise the lease had already been signed. Why didn't the council simply put their hands up and say they had made a mistake?

We want an explanation from Councillor Burbage & RBMW's Managing director, Mr. McGaughrin as to why the council granted the lease on 3 July despite the fact that:

- It did not advertise its intention to dispose of the public open space & consider any objections before making its decision 

- It did not consider the need for public open space within the locality when making the decision to dispose of the land.

We still have had no response from any member of the Council on these matters (although Cllr. Dudley HAS been helpful and communicative so far on a few other issues relating to the School, and Ann Pfeiffer has also replied to some of our questions).


However, it continues to look like there's been some pretty underhand, undemocratic stuff going on here... 

The public were not consulted, and the objections were not considered. 

RBWM went ahead and granted the leases without notifying anyone. As they are required to do.

Is this whats going to happen again when the planning application (eventually) gets submitted? 

The one which involves building on the green belt in the middle of Braywick Park? 

Is anyone in the Council going to listen to local residents and users of the park who are against this? Can we believe they will follow the rules when it gets to that point? So far, it would appear that they haven't... 

The same document containing the rules they've already broken contains this section. Maybe they will just grant that lease too? Who cares about planning permission anyway...

"2.7 The Free school will apply for planning permission for any extension to the existing school building and for the new Nature Centre. The latter will be on the basis of drawings and a specification prepared by RBWM. Only if planning permission is granted will the lease for the Braywick Nature Centre be entered into." 



Tuesday, 23 September 2014

'Lease of Public Open Space' - PART DEUX! The Return of the lease! WRITE BEFORE OCT 1ST

Looks like the council messed up the 'disposal of public space' lease we mentioned here last month, so they've had to re-advertise it & go through the process again!

Despite all of our letters of objection, they STILL GRANTED THE LEASE ANYWAY. Until we pointed out that they had failed to advertise the disposal for 2 consecutive weeks in the Maidenhead Advertiser as they are required to by law. They only did it for one week. 

This is the lease of an area of land in the Winbury School site to the Braywick Court School/Bellevue Place Education Trust, a piece of land that was previously for use by the public, it's the only fenced off part of grassland in the whole of Braywick Park which is dog free, includes some lovely apple trees, and links the Nature Reserve with the Park


There still hasn't been any planning application 
which (according to the drawings and plans they have shown so far) is a massive development on the Winbury site, taking over the Nature Centre - and building a new one in the middle of Braywick park.  


As they are re-advertising this lease, previous letters of objection are Null & Void so please write in again if you did before, and if not, if you object, please write in again! The deadline in October 1st. 


If you object, please write before 1 October to:

Emma-Jane Brewerton, 
Lawyer, Shared Legal Solutions at Wokingham Borough Council,
Civic Offices, 
Shute End, 
Wokingham, 
Berks 
RG40 1WH


Thoughts on the lease that may be helpful if writing to object:

- No objection to the lease of the open space land to BPET were it to facilitate the opening of a school for up to 100 children which did not involve the loss of the Nature Centre.


- OBJECT to the lease of this la
nd to BPET to facilitate the opening of a 210 pupil school for the following reasons:

1.        No planning application has been submitted, much less approved, at this stage and thus it is considered premature to seek the disposal of the land. Given the admissions policy of the school, it is not considered that Bellevue Education Place Trust will be able to demonstrate very special circumstances to warrant development of the new school buildings in the Green Belt. It is understood that the Council is not advertising the public notice for the disposal of the open space outside the Nature Centre until after the planning application has been determined and therefore the same approach should be applied to the open space between the Nature Centre and the former WInbury School.

2.       The orchard area, which forms part of the open space the subject of the public notice, is
the only grassed, dog free area in the whole of Braywick Park. If anyone, especially those with small children, want to have a picnic, this is the one place they can go where there are no dog faeces. The Council knows all too well the problem of dog faeces on the playing pitches in Braywick Park. 

3.       In addition,
the orchard area was improved as part of Transforming Your Patch, a Groundwork project with funding from Britvic. There were a few apple trees in this area which were struggling; the two best trees were kept and the area around them was fenced in and grassed over. What is the reaction of Groundwork and Transforming Your Patch sponsors to the disposal of this land for the construction of a school building? Will Groundwork or the Council need to reimburse the funds obtained from the sponsor? Would Britvic have provided funding had it known the Council was going to turn around a few years later and dispose of the open space?

4.       The shrubs/brambles in the northern part of the open space the subject of the public notice are
a valuable area for wildlife, complementing the Local Nature Reserve (LNR) which is almost adjacent to the north.  The loss of this area will, in a small part, reduce the ecological value of the LNR.     

Given the strong feelings of local residents
regarding the disposal of this land to Bellevue Education Place Trust, we would request that the Head of Leisure Services (who, it is understood, has delegated powers to consider the objections) considers stepping aside and referring the matter to the Cabinet for decision (as it was the Cabinet who precipitously agreed to Braywick Court School in March of this year).  This is clearly an option as set out in paragraph 2.5 of Part 5, Scheme of Delegation to Officers.

FYI: Paragraph 2.5 states ‘Where any function is delegated to an officer, that officer may choose not exercise that function and may, instead, refer a matter to the Council, the Cabinet, Committee or relevant Portfolio Holder for decision as appropriate with the agreement of the appropriate Director’.


As the Council had put the previous notice for the disposal of open space in the paper for one week only (they are required to do it for two consecutive weeks), they have re-advertised the notice this past Thursday and will presumably do so again next week.  So letters of objections need to be in by the 1 October.  Any letters sent the last time are null and void so people need to send new letters.

Here's the notice in the Maidenhead Advertiser last week. Lucky we spotted it right?! Conveniently easy to miss? 

Close-up of the notice.

The area in red is the piece of land this particular lease relates to.


Friday, 29 August 2014

Is this the Braywick Court School 'Travel Plan'?



Here's a video showing the 'walking bus' route Braywick Court School are proposing. 

And the inadequate single-track road all the cars will have to use. The road where cars can't pass in both directions. The one they will then have to widen, taking up more greenbelt land on Braywick Sports Ground. Will a normal road even fit past those 5-a-side football pitches? 

The School has already thought this through though right? RBWM? Put in a planning application yet? Mentioned that this is going to be necessary to anyone yet? The School opens in 2 weeks...

The video also shows the horrible path that RBWM have dug up through the lovely grassland area at the back of Braywick Park already, seems like it was rushed through without any environmental studies. Strange when the nearby site where they're building the new Oldfield School had to put building work on hold so ecologists could capture and re-home a large colony of rare, and protected species of slow-worms. Let's hope they didn't re-home them over here - then bulldoze them up... Did anyone check on that before they did this? It's an offence to kill or injure slow worms in the UK.

Why are we so desperate for these extra school places anyway when a new double-sized Oldfield School opens next year, and the old site will also then be used for education?

Do Bellevue Education Trust have their eyes on the old Oldfield School site as part of the long-game? 


What about the need for 'special educational needs' places locally as noted in this report here:http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/news_18913_chiltern_road_site_options.htm

What if Bellevue Place Education Trust's 'plan B' is to create a situation where Braywick Court already has several classes of children, but can't get planning permission to expand (we certainly hope they won't get it if it involves building on the park, and building the big 2 storey development they have shown they want to) - which then puts pressure on RBWM to re-home the school on the old Oldfield School site - instead of the other options which would provide 'special educational needs' places.


'Special Educational Needs places' ARE needed in the area (See this RBWM Report)Especially since Holyport Manor School closed (and the site is now opening as a... $15m FREE SCHOOL... Founded by... COUNCILLOR DUDLEY, and who's head of Sport is... Councillor Bicknell's Son.). One of the sponsor groups for Braywick Court School (Place Group) were project management advisors to Holyport College too. All very friendly... 

Just a bit worrying that the very people who will eventually be looking over the planning application may be under political pressure from others on the council to support it (presumably those directly involved/linked to the School will rightly step down from the development panel - but that does't mean there won't be pressure on those in the council that ARE on it). If they upset those higher up will they have to step down from their cabinet roles in planning? 

Anyway...
 what do you think about this walking bus? Would you happily let your 5yr old kid walk this route every day? In winter? When its raining? What then? Ah yes, use the car park at Braywick Park, which barely coped when Winbury was open with 90 kids - let alone 210.

There won't be traffic chaos on Hibbert Road and in the car park when Braywick Court School is up to 210 will there?

Especially not now that there are 8 less spaces available there because RBWM have made them 'permit holder only' for School Staff.

Because the area where teachers used to park when it was Winbury School, now can't be used as they want to build a big new 2 storey development on it. To accommodate the extra 120 kids this school wants to eventually have - over the 90 when it worked perfectly well as Winbury School.

Councillors & RBWM have been promoting the School, taking over the existing Nature Centre Building so the School can use it - and then building a new Nature Centre Building in the middle of Braywick Park as a good thing in the Maidenhead Advertiser.

And who will the planning application eventually be made to? RBWM...

Nice.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

'Lease of Public Open Space' WRITE BEFORE 28 AUGUST IF OBJECTING

Hidden away on page 8 of the Maidenhead Advertiser is the notice that RBWM has agreed to lease the land adjoining the Braywick Nature Centre to Bellevue Place Education Trust. Land that is 'public open space'. See the red area on the map below.

There are no signs mentioning this around Braywick Park - so it's very easy to miss out information on what is being done. 

They have already agreed to grant the lease, so it will go ahead (unless enough people write with objections). Just as the new parking restrictions & introduction of 8 permit-holder-only parking bays IN THE PUBLIC CAR PARK went ahead without any consultation, and just as they have already gone ahead and dug up the new path through the beautiful wilderness area at the back of Braywick Park for the 'Walking Bus' (which the school cannot force parents to use).

If you object to this please write before 28 August to:

Emma-Jane Brewerton, 
Lawyer, 
Shared Legal Solutions at Wokingham Borough Council, 
Civic Offices, Shute End, 
Wokingham, 
Berks 
RG40 1WH







Thoughts on the lease that may be helpful if writing to object:

No objection to the lease of the open space land to BPET were it to facilitate the opening of a school for up to 100 children which did not involve the loss of the Nature Centre.

OBJECT to the lease of this land to BPET to facilitate the opening of a 210 pupil school when there are so many unresolved issues including;

* significant increase in traffic generation and related road safety concerns;
* the loss of the Nature Centre;
* the building of a new nature centre in the middle of the park which would cause irrevocable harm to the formal gardens;
* the building of a large two storey school building which, according to plans seen to date, would be totally out of character with the surrounding area; and
* the loss of parking for users of Braywick Park.

The lease should not be granted until such time as a planning permission has been granted and the issues referred to above have been resolved in a satisfactory manner, if that indeed were possible.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Parking Restrictions introduced & 8 parking bays now 'permit holders only'

Despite the School only opening with one class of (at most 28) pupils, RBWM has already blocked off 8 parking spaces in the PUBLIC CAR PARK AND introduced a new 3 hour maximum parking restriction. 

Again, there's been no proper public consultation, they just went ahead and did it. The park is one of the main places to park for walkers wanting to use the 'Green Way' - they now have to make sure they're back within 3 hours or they'll get a ticket. 

If you can manage the whole Green Way loop (5-10km) on foot in under 3 hours please let us know!

And if you want to spend more than 3 hours enjoying Braywick Park & you drive here, well - that's just too bad...




CLICK HERE to find out a few simple things you can do to help!

Is this the extent of the 'public consultation'? A leaflet that hardly any local residents have seen?

This is the only document we could find purporting to be the 'public consultation' - at least one giving information about the School. More of a prospectus than a consultation - with biased, weighted questions, and no space to write any detailed responses either.

At least 10 of the households on Hibbert Road (the majority) were NOT sent this (We only got this one at the School's open day in September). Did they even send it out to any other local residents?

Residents on Gas Lane weren't even notified of the 'public consultation' on 8th July showing the proposed plans. Gas lane is just off Hibbert Road opposite the Park very close to where they want to build the new Nature Centre Building. In the middle of the park.

 How do any of these questions give the opportunity to properly gauge local residents' opinions anyway? 



CLICK HERE to find out a few simple things you can do to help!




The original 'Consultation Document' did not mention any building plans, only 'refurbishment'.

The FAQ page on the Prospectus/'Consultation Document' - meant to inform parents, and local residents of the School's intentions only mentions plans for refurbishment - nothing about the large expansion and building works now planned for the site and certainly nothing about appropriating the Nature Centre & building a new one right in the middle of Braywick Park. Funny that...


CLICK HERE to find out a few simple things you can do to help!

Do we need this many school places in this Catchment Area, with Oldfield School now expanded?

The new Braywick Court School is located in the same catchment area as Oldfield Primary School, which is scheduled to be replaced in 2015 by a much larger new school on the nearby site on Bray Road, with double the capacity of the old school to cater for 420 pupils. [CLICK HERE FOR RBWM MAP OF SCHOOL CATCHMENT AREAS]

The case for additional school capacity in the Oldfield and Bray Wards was part of the considerations of a Report dated 24 October 2013 by Angela Wellings, Head of Education and Childcare Services, on the future use of Chiltern Road site. In considering the future options for the Chiltern Road site this report notes, inter alia, that “there is a continued need for new primary school places in Maidenhead, but not in this specific area if the plan to relocate and expand Oldfield Primary School goes ahead.” (Which it has, despite it involving building on Green Belt land also in the flood plain.


"Future use of the Chiltern Road Site" - 24 Oct 2013


Does it make sense to approve plans for additional capacity COUNTER TO RECENT CABINET CONSIDERATIONS by using Green Belt Land and Public Open Space? 


Both expanded schools together would cater for 630 primary age pupils. Why does this catchment area need a further new expanded school? Are there plans to build new homes in this catchment area? Is the catchment area changing?

Wider choice for parents clearly make sense and the Winbury site happily supported up to 90 pupils as recently as 2009, but expansion on this site (to accommodate 210 pupils) at the expense of the local environment seems unnecessary and runs counter to recent Cabinet considerations.


If additional capacity as well as parental choice is the aim, and taking into account that the Chiltern Road site will continue to operate as a school when the New Oldfield school is in operation - why spoil a lovely public Park?


Zoomed in section of the RBWM Catchment Area Map - the brown area '19' is the Oldfield School Catchment area in which Braywick Court School is also.



CLICK HERE to find out a few simple things you can do to help!

Approval & Consultation Process? Most local residents NOT consulted.

On 27 March 2014 RBWM Cabinet considered a report about Braywick Court School lease. 

The minutes of that meeting approved the granting of a 125 year lease at peppercorn rent to Bellevue Place Educational Trust in respect of the former Winbury School premises, the Braywick Nature Centre plus public open space between the Nature Centre and the school buildings.

The Cabinet Report notes, inter alia, “....that the school need to increase the number and size of classrooms, have access to a hall, staff parking and pupil drop off areas; the agreed proposal is that instead of building a large extension to incorporate all the school’s needs, the Bellvue Place Educational Trust will build a smaller extension and take over the adjacent Council owned Nature Centre space. The school will apply for planning permission for any extension to the existing building and for the new Nature Centre. Only if planning permission is granted will the lease for the Braywick Nature Centre be entered into.The report also notes that “....the area of land between the two buildings is currently designated Public Open Space. This will become enclosed and will be for the sole use of the school.”

Elsewhere - at para 14.1 - the Report states that Braywick Court School has carried out its own consultations with the public. Prior to disposal of the open space RBWM has to advertise the notice of intention to dispose of the land in question in accordance with s123 Local Government Act 1972.” And at 14.2 that “Public consultation will take place on the planning application which will be submitted by the Bellvue Place Educational Trust."


However, most local (i.e. Hibbert Road) residents did not receive the school's consultation document. 1

Residents on Gas Lane were not sent any consultation documents & weren't even notified of the 'public consultation' on 8th July either



Gas lane is just off Hibbert Road opposite the Park very close to where they want to build the new Nature Centre Building. In the middle of the park.

The document reads as a prospectus for prospective parents, which appears to have been the thrust of the so called consultation - sent to libraries, media, religious groups etc. Not to local residents. 

We were told in one email exchangethat only 11 people responded to the whole consultation exercise, and the Head Teacher claims3 that nearly 60% were local residents and that 89% were in support. Does this constitute local consultation?


In short, most local residents believe that consultation was inadequate and that approval was rubber stamped.

RBWM has published notice on 14 August 2014 that it has agreed to a lease to Bellvue Place Educational Trust land adjoining Braywick Nature Centre; the land described in this notice is area C as referred to above. As at 19 August no planning application has been submitted and we are told that the application is expected to be submitted in the Autumn.

Work started in early August on the school buildings and the school is set to open in September with one reception class of 28 pupils.

How can the RBWM Cabinet make a decision, on 27 March, endorsing the lease before the the school has submitted any plans for approval?

1 10 Households that we know of have said they did not receive a consultation document.
Email dated 25 July from Simon Ward, Finance and Operations Director for BPET
Email dated 22 July from Mrs Gemma Donnelly, Head Teacher

CLICK HERE to find out a few simple things you can do to help!