Hawkenbury school expansion plans ‘scaled down’

Mayfield festival has changed its line up to maximise appeal

Hawkenbury villagers fear ‘scaled down’ primary school plans will not provide enough places for a planned 235 home development.

The Times reported in 2015 that St Peter’s Church of England Primary School could be expanded from one entry of 20 pupils a year to a two form entry.

But latest documents sent to parents show that instead of 40 pupils now starting every September, it would just be 30.

Dean Kenward, Chairman of Hawkenbury Village Association, said: ‘St Peter’s is already over-subscribed.

‘Adding ten Reception places to the school will not meet the demand in 2019, when the school is scheduled to open.

‘St Peter’s already struggles to accept new pupils beyond siblings of existing pupils and this situation will worsen.’

The original proposal was agreed by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, who granted planning permission for the Hawkenbury Farm development in 2017.

Developer Berkeley Homes agreed to pay £1.5million towards the school’s development in a Section 106 payment.

Plans then progressed to Kent County Council, the body in charge of education.

Earlier this year County Hall sent parents a letter detailing an expansion plan, which proved markedly smaller than the original plan.

Mr Kenward continued: ‘Berkeley Homes will start delivering homes on the site in 2018 and will continue to do so until 2021.

‘Very few of these new residents will be able to get their children into the proposed school. We would ask Kent County Council to reconsider.’

Mr Kenward said he had written to local authority leaders.

A County Hall spokesman said: ‘We are currently consulting on the proposed expansion and relocation of St Peter’s on a new site in Hawkenbury.

‘We will consider all views to the consultation prior to making any decisions on the proposals.

‘In line with our statutory duty, we carefully plan in order to meet the demand for additional school places, taking into account indigenous population growth and projected new housing.

‘The current proposals for St Peter’s reflect the forecast demand for school places, including local housing developments and the impact on other schools.’

He added: ‘The school’s class structure is a matter for the school and we understand that the opening of additional classes in upper year groups and removal of the current mixed-age structure is being considered by the governors.’

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter