Khalsa residency goes to High Court
CAMPAIGNERS hope to have the decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to allow a free school to remain in their village overruled.
Stoke Poges Parish Council has begun legal proceedings in the High Court to challenge MP Eric Pickles’ authorisation of the continued use of Pioneer House, in Hollybush Hill, Stoke Poges, as a free school.
The Khalsa Secondary School opened in September 2013 and currently has a limited intake of students but expects to expand to its full capacity of more than 900 pupils.
The Department for Education (DfE) applied to South Bucks District Council for prior approval to enable the school to continue to operate from the site using a new law, which removed the requirement for full planning permission.
When the council refused the application, the DfE appealed to the Secretary of State.
At two-day hearing in July led by Planning Inspector Ava Woods, campaigners voiced their concerns about the effects of noise, traffic and contamination.
Having heard all the evidence, the inspector recommended refusal of the appeal on the basis of the potential severity of noise from the school on its neighbours.
However, Mr Pickles overturned this decision on September 17, and granted permission for the continued use of the site by the school.
The parish council released a statement on Tuesday, in which it argues that this ‘decision is unlawful on a number of grounds’.
It expects its challenge to be considered by the High Court late this year or early next year.
The council added that it will not be commenting further until the claim comes to the High Court.
Khalsa Secondary School declined to comment.