Planning for schools: Latest appeal decision

18 May 2021

Planning and Environment

Land at Sheen Way Playing Field, Sheen Way, Wallington SM6 8NR

On 10th May 2021 the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government issued his Decision Letter granting planning permission on a recovered appeal for the erection of a part 1, part 2 storey building for a special needs school (Use Class D1) for 246 students with a range of learning difficulties, together with an ancillary multi-use games area, landscaping and parking. The appellant, Keir, appealed on behalf of the Department for Education in response to the failure by the LPA, the London Borough of Sutton, to determine the application for the development.

The main issues in the appeal, based on the LPA’s putative reasons for refusal, concerned construction and operational traffic, including both highway safety and impact on the local highway network for the purposes of paragraphs 108 and 109 of the NPPF. The Secretary of State, in reaching his decision to allow the appeal, agreed with the reasoning and conclusions of the Inspector, who found comprehensively that there was no evidence to suggest that the proposed development would have unacceptable impacts on the highway at either the construction or operational stage, and ample evidence to suggest that it would not.

Lisa Busch QC acted for the Department for Education in the above appeal (instructed by Trowers & Hamlins LLP), which follows on from similar successes in appeals relating to schools in Sutton, Bromley, Maidstone, and Hackney.

On 27th May 2021 Lisa and other Members of Cornerstone Barristers (Harriet Townsend, Ryan Kholi and Rowan Clap) present a Zoom Webinar on “Planning for Schools: Academy and Free School planning appeals”. The Webinar will cover the law and policy relating to the development of new and existing schools, duties of local authorities relating to primary and secondary school provision, and issues arising in appeals, including school design, highways and traffic, impact on protected sites, special educational needs provision and the public sector equality duty, amongst others. It will be of interest to construction companies in the education infrastructure sector, local education authorities and consultants who participate in education infrastructure planning.

You can sign up for the webinar here.

PINS Ref: APP/P5870/W/20/3250891