Legal advice sought over Khalsa approval
Secretary of State criticised for free school decision
CAMPAIGNERS have said they are taking legal advice following the Secretary of State’s decision in favour of a free school.
Stoke Poges Parish Council has said it is considering what step to take next after Eric Pickles’ decision in favour of Khalsa Secondary School, representatives of which have said they are ‘delighted’.
Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove appealed a decision made by South Bucks District Council (SBDC) in January to reject a planning application to change Pioneer House, in Hollybush Hill, from an office into a permanent school site.
The school was based at the site on a temporary agreement with the Department for Education, which ended in July.
Inspector Ava Wood heard both sides of the argument in July at a planning hearing at the district council offices before writing a report advising Mr Pickles.
Now he has ruled the school can stay despite campaigners’ concerns over traffic, noise and contamination.
Vice-chairman of the parish council Saera Carter said: “We are extremely disappointed that the Secretary of State has chosen to approve this application.
“He has shown complete disregard for the democratic process or the Tory’s flagship localism policy and has run roughshod over the
He has shown complete disregard
for the democratic process or the Tory’s flagship
perfectly valid and reasonable objections from the residents of Stoke Poges.
“He has also overruled the professional advice of a senior and highly experienced planning inspector and has completely ignored the district council’s reasons for rejecting this application.
“We are now taking legal advice to understand our next steps as we believe the Secretary of State’s decision may not be legally sound.”
Despite campaigners’ disappointment the chairman of the Slough Sikh Education Trust, Nick Kandola, said: “We are naturally delighted with the decision for the school to remain permanently Pioneer House.
“This has been a long journey for parents, pupils, staff and supporters of the school.
“There will be parents who were unsure whether to send their children to the school due to the uncertainty and we would like to remind those parents that we have a few places remaining and invite them to contact us.”
What do you think of the decision? Email bucksnews@trinitysouth. co.uk or tweet us @Get_ Bucks.