For background on Elmbridge school numbers click here.
Although the planning application is placed before Elmbridge as the planning authority, the fundamental issue is that of transport which falls under Surrey as the highways authority.
Surrey’s views have been sought and Surrey has raised no objections to the proposal – subject to a travel plan. Should Elmbridge refuse planning permission on transport issues alone it would be against the advice of Surrey – as the highway authority. In that case, Surrey – as the education authority – could appeal to the national government against the decision by Elmbridge. It is very likely, albeit not certain, that the national government’s inspector would uphold an appeal.
At present, as I understand it, Heathside School has not updated its travel plan since 2009 but Surrey has requested that it be reviewed if this application is permitted. The people at Surrey who audit travel plans can be contacted here. The travel plan could do with more than a little stiffening.
You can read the Elmbridge planning officer’s report here: Heathside – Officer Report 2014
Surrey decides whether the proposal meets the policies in Elmbridge’s borough local plan. It cites the policies that it feels are relevant (the three below) and Surrey therefore believes these polcies are met by the proposal.
Planning permission will be granted for proposals for new educational establishments or extensions to existing facilities provided that: (i) the existing road network is capable of absorbing the level of traffic generated;
(ii) the site is conveniently accessible to all sections of the community by a choice of means of transport;
(iii) adequate provision is made for stopping and parking; and,
(iv) there would not be a significant adverse impact on local residents.
All development proposals should minimise the impact of vehicle and traffic nuisance, particularly in residential areas and, as far as practicable, comply with current highway design standards.
New development with the potential to generate significant cycle use will be permitted provided that provision is made for:-
(a) safe and convenient cycle access;
(b) secure cycle parking which accords with the adopted standards; and
(c) changing and shower facilities for employees.