Stoke Poges free school thrown out by South Bucks
In a decision that is almost bound to end up being challenged in the courts, South Bucks council rejected plans to convert an office block in Stoke Poges into a secondary free school. The Khalsa Secondary Academy would largely have served residents of nearby Slough.
The application had been made under the government’s new permitted development rights championed by Michael Gove. These allow conversion of buildings to free schools without planning permission but applicants must apply for the council’s prior approval of a number of matters.
South Bucks Council threw the application out on the grounds that the applicant had submitted insufficient evidence for the application to be assessed. In particular, it had failed to demonstrate provision for pick-up and drop-off demand and failed to make adequate provision to allow non-car access.
The site is currently occupied by the Sikh faith secondary school, which moved into the site in September for one academic year under different permitted development rights.