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Denmead School expansion plan turned down by councillors
Children will continue to be educated in dilapidated buildings after plans to redevelop a school were turned down.
Denmead School, in Hampton, hoped in three years to demolish the three existing single-storey teaching blocks and build a new two-storey building, to provide new facilities and an extra 32 places.
The application for the school’s Gloucester Road site was rejected by five out of nine councillors on traffic grounds, at a planning committee meeting on Thursday, December 20.
Objectors at the meeting included Jacob Poot, who has lived in Gloucester Road for 20 years, and said he was aghast about the scale of the building proposed.
He said: “I support the development of the school but I have got grave question marks about the proposals.
“It’s an opportunity for redevelopment of this site, to improve the traffic situation in Gloucester Road and I can’t find any evidence of fundamental improvements with this particular proposal that is being put on the table.
“It’s an opportunity to improve the site but this particular proposal will do more harm than good.”
Alison Edwards, chairman of Denmead Neighbours’ Association, also spoke against the application on the ground of loss of open land, design and local character, noise and disturbance and access.
After the meeting, headteacher Michael McKaughan said he was grateful to Richmond Council for its help and time in considering the application, but was disappointed with the result.
He said: “Denmead is in a situation where we need to replace the unattractive and dilapidated buildings very soon, in the best interests of the children and the basic aesthetics of the site itself.
“We have been doing our utmost to work with the neighbours and local community to reach a harmonious result and are very happy to continue with our efforts in this regard.”
Mr McKaughan said the school governors were reviewing the issue and would decide at their next meeting what steps to take.