The long-running Buller’s Wood saga continued this week as councillors gave the stamp of approval for kids to start learning at St Hughes Playing Field in September.

Proposals for the new boys school at St Hughes Playing Field in Bickley Road, Chislehurst, were approved in 2017 before a controversial backtrack in January last year after traffic concerns were raised.

The council’s refusal was taken to the planning inspectorate and it was forced to defend its decision, at a cost of at least £50k, before being overruled.

The decision was to the delight of parents who campaigned “industriously” according to the borough’s MP, who also threw his weight behind the new school.

Plans to get a temporary school on the site in time for the start of the next school year were last night approved by the authorities planning committee.

Speaking to the LDR service, Anne Gouldthorpe, the school’s head, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news because although we know we will have a permanent build on that site there was some anxiety as to where we would be from September.


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“We have only got a temporary home here and it simply isn’t big enough.

“It’s a absolutely fantastic news – we need to say a massive thank you to the parents, children, and supporters who attended the meeting and represented the school so well.

“The school is really needed. We expect to be full in September.

“For me personally it’s the last the piece in the jigsaw – it’s been such a long journey to get to this point. Our future is now secure.”

Hundreds of people had written in support of the proposals which will allow 360 school kids to be taught at the future “home” of Bullers Wood School for Boys.

Andrew Ruck, one of the parents leading the campaign, said: “We are relieved that Bullers Wood School for Boys’s future on St Hughes has now finally been secured.


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“It’s been a long, hard fought journey with an exceptional group of supporters who simply weren’t prepared to sit by and watch.

“Instead, this planning saga helped to galvanise a really strong, engaged, school community long before the school even existed. It shouldn’t have to be this hard, but sometimes it just is. ”

The school is currently based at 1 Westmoreland Road at an old office building.

Having a school at St Hughes has divided opinion in Bromley, with some councillors backing the new facilities with others and neighbours more sceptical about traffic and parking problems.

Objectors say traffic problems will lead to congestion and a risk of injury to parents and kids – claiming there is insufficient parking in the area as it is.

Others said the project was not cost effective and would be a “poor environment” for pupils trying to learn alongside construction.

Bromley Council had no objections to the use of the site, but suggested it was the safety issues – particularly in Chislehurst and Bickley Roads – that made the 2017 plans unacceptable.

The unsuccessful attempt to convince the inspector cost taxpayers at least £49,825, which was spent on external transport consultants.

The three-storey building should be opened in time for September 2019’s enrolment. The permanent school will take up to 900 pupils.

Councillor Alexa Michael, chairman of development control committee said: “This decision to permit temporary accommodation while the permanent school is constructed follows the outcome of the planning appeal last year.

“The committee accepted that there were no material planning considerations that substantially outweighed the need for the temporary provision and therefore approved the application.”