Statement regarding the Rosehill school planning application

Published Friday, 30th August 2019

A statement from Councillor Jayne McCoy, Deputy Leader of Sutton Council regarding the Rosehill school planning application

Councillor Jayne McCoy, deputy leader of Sutton Council said:

“Sutton’s schools are some of the best in London; a fact of which we are immensely proud. Because of this we face incredible demand for school places and most schools are often over-subscribed. Each year therefore we need to plan for, and provide, the school places we need to keep up with demand.

“We have an ambitious programme of school expansion and new school building in Sutton. The new places we provide give parents and carers choice in where they send their children.

“To keep up with the need for school places our Local Plan allocates space for a new school in Rosehill. To build this school we need to use an area of public open space. Our adopted Local Plan (which has been endorsed by the Government) now identifies this former public open space as a site for a new school.

“A new school will lead to the loss of some parkland at Rosehill. It is therefore imperative the design of any school respects its very special park setting. The designs submitted to date fall short of the high standards we must ensure. Neither do they address the very specific concerns we shared regarding traffic and access to the school. An independent Design Review Panel concluded the current proposed design is not good enough for its setting, or for the students and staff that will attend the school. We think our students deserve the best possible start in life; an ambition we would hope any developers share.

“We have no objection to building a school on this site. However, in return for any loss of valued public space, we must see buildings that are sympathetically designed to respect their setting. The current application falls far short of our Council-agreed expectations. We have a proven track record of building high quality schools in Sutton, just look at the passivhaus Harris Academy Sutton on the old Sutton Hospital site. I believe all students in Sutton deserve to be educated in exemplary learning environments, irrespective of who builds it or where it is located."