CHALLENGE TO FUTURE OF KHALSA
Parish council’s bid for High Court hearing over school
STOKE Poges Parish Council has launched a new challenge in the high Court against the decision to allow the Khalsa Secondary Academy to continue operating in the village.
Earlier this year, communities secretary Greg Clark approved the free school, which has a Sikh ethos, to remain at Pioneer House in Stoke Poges.
The council has now appealed to the High Court, aiming to overturn the decision, which it believes is unlawful.
Villagers have long been opposed to the school, which they believe causes traffic and noise issues, and is too big for Stoke Poges to accommodate.
The school has been at the site since 2013, initially on a temporary basis.
In 2014, South Bucks District Council turned down an application by the Department for Education to convert the building’s temporary use as a free school into a permanent one, on the grounds of its noise impact.
An appeal later that year upheld the decision but this was then overturned by the government, and the school was allowed to continue using the site.
However, this was then challenged by the parish and district councils and the decision was overturned in the High Court in March last year.
The application was reconsidered by Mr Clark who eventually ruled external levels of noise would be acceptable, and internal noise levels “would not give rise to significant adverse impacts to health and quality of life”, but did agree noise levels from the site should be limited.
A statement from the parish council said: “The decision, which the parish council believes may be unlawful, further demonstrates this government’s view in championing localism while simultaneously imposing a secondary school on a small community which has fought against it for more than three years.” A decision on whether to allow the parish council’s appeal will be made in the coming weeks.