Second plan for Gatwick School

Meeting saw Gatwick School bid rejected
Meeting saw Gatwick School bid rejected

The Gatwick School boss said he was confident his school would be given permanent planning permission in its second attempt.

Councillors rejected its bid to permanently change the use of its site in Gatwick Road, Manor Royal, from offices to a school on August 3.

Crawley Free School Trust (CFST) opened the free school in 2014 under one year of temporary planning rights.

A meeting between the trust and Crawley Borough Council was held on Thursday (August 27).

CFST CEO Tim McCarthy said it would apply to extend its permitted use for a year this month. A second bid for permanent planning permission for a primary and secondary school for 1,020 pupils with sports hall, parking and external play areas will be made during the extension.

He said: “We are absolutely confident that we can resolve the issues with the planners.

“The major issue is resolving the number of journeys to the site and making sure we can operate the site safely.”

Mr McCarthy said the trust was looking at redesigning its proposals for a sports hall in order to create more parking spaces.

He said parking in the area was ‘very tight’ and added:“It’s the same for every business around the area so putting the sports hall on the site restricts the amount of parking you can put on the site.”

He had considered options including proposing the hall be put on stilts and having a split site school.

He explained the school needed to have a sports hall for pupils’ physical education.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said the decision to reject the school’s original bid ‘seemed more based on Labour councillors’ idealogical objections’.

Peter Smith, cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “The application was rejected on planning grounds – the only reason councillors can refuse an application.”

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