The Ark Academy planning application for a 1200 place secondary school at Underhill Stadium has been given the go-ahead by Barnet council's planning committee (26 Oct) despite fears over parking, congestion and the impact on the environment.
Underhill Councillor, Paul Edwards, who addressed the Planning Committee, said:
"At last night's planning meeting I spoke on behalf of the hundreds of Underhill and High Barnet residents who have expressed their grave concern about the proposed Ark Pioneer school to be built on green belt land.
"In particular I emphasised that the exceptional circumstances test needed to warrant green belt development has not been met by the applicant. GLA figures predict only a temporary increase in year 7 entrants peaking in around 2020 then declining again to 2017 levels.
"Incredibly the 6 Conservative Cllrs present all voted for the development of the green belt, despite the exceptional circumstances test not being met. This sets an extremely worrying precedent for the rest of Barnet's green belt under the Tory administration."
"I'm hugely disappointed by the decision, which will have a negative impact on the lives of those surrounding the site and indeed anyone driving through Barnet.
"This decision went ahead despite residents fears about the impact on the environment, traffic congestion and lack of need for school places in the immediate area. I did not feel these concerns were fully addressed by the re submitted application."
Barnet and Camden London Assembly Member, Andrew Dismore, who also attended the Planning Committee meeting, has written to the Council's Chief Executive expressing concerns that the decision may be unlawful because of issues raised by the Chair of the committee that were not planning considerations.
- A link to the Planning Committee agenda and reports can be found here: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=703&MId=9166&Ver=4
- A copy of Andrew Dismore AM's email to Barnet Council's Chief Executive:
Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden
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