On Thursday 12 November Hillingdon Council Cabinet will consider a proposed agreement to lease part of Ruislip Golf Course for the site of a new secondary school.
Although outside the Ickenham boundary, the site is approximately 1km from the village pump. For comparison, Douay Martyrs is approximately 600m from the pump, Vyners School is approximately 1.4km and Ruislip High, the closest secondary school outside Ickenham, is 2.2km.
Some key quotes from the Cabinet meeting paper on the matter are set out below:
“In August 2020, DfE decided to formally to progress the bid from Veritas Academy Trust for a new school called Bishop Arden north of the A40” and that “the Bishop Arden bid in 2016 was strongly supported by parents in the north of the borough since it would provide another outstanding school open to pupils of all faiths and none, living in the local area.”
“For the past few years, to meet the increasing demand of larger numbers coming up from the primary sector each year, the secondary intake has required additional temporary ‘bulge’ places to be agreed in up to five schools each year to meet the statutory duty to give residents an offer of a school place. In 2020 this was 145 places and is projected to rise each year up to 2024 and then remain high and plateau. However, the Local Authority cannot force academies to expand. Up to now, these have used existing accommodation on the school sites. Most of the 18 secondary school sites across the borough are now full, with no options for further expansions, and most are on playing fields, green belt and/or metropolitan open land which create serious planning constraints.”
“Ruislip Golf Course is the only possible site officers have identified where a desktop analysis has not identified any significant planning constraints. In this regard the site might still attract resident opposition, but it would be a matter for the Council as a planning authority to determine any planning application on its merits. The land is flat, has an obvious existing vehicular access point (where Hill Lane intersects with the Ickenham Road), is a highly sustainable location close to the underground station and bus routes, is not defined as high quality agricultural land, it is not contaminated land and is large enough to accommodate a secondary school without the necessary new buildings needing to be too close to neighbouring residential property.”
“HS2 Ltd does not object to the Council developing alternative land uses on the academy part of the golf course and…it would still develop the remaining part of the land as a 9 hole golf course”.
The Cabinet meeting paper and a map of the proposal are online here: https://modgov.hillingdon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=115&MId=3907
Hillingdon Cabinet meetings are broadcast live on the Council’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/HillingdonLondon
Find out more about your Elected Representatives and how to contact them here: https://modgov.hillingdon.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=ALPHA&VW=LIST&PIC=0