Free school’s second bid for permanent use of site

The Gatwick School celebrate Good Ofsted
The Gatwick School celebrate Good Ofsted

A Crawley free school is preparing its second bid to secure permanent planning permission for its current home.

The Gatwick School opened in former office buildings in Manor Royal off Gatwick Road back in September 2014 under one year permitted development rights granted by the Government.

Its bid for permanent permission was rejected by Crawley Borough Council’s Development Control Committee in August 2015 due to safety concerns over traffic and parking.

But the school’s second application for temporary use of the buildings for two years was then approved in December 2015.

This expires on August 31 so a third application has been submitted to extend the temporary permission for another academic year.

However the agent for the scheme has confirmed that a fresh bid to secure permanent permission for the former office site is currently being prepared.

At the start of the new school year in September, 468 pupils are expected to attend the Gatwick School, which received a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in May this year.

As some students are expected to join the school in-year, the maximum pupil admission is set at 537, although this number is not expected to be reached in 2017/18.

A total of 46 staff work at the school, with this figure due to rise to 54 in September.

The application states: “The applicant is currently in the process of preparing an application to secure permanent permission.”

To comment visit www.crawley.gov.uk/planning using code CR/2017/0596/FUL.