A date has been set for a new secondary school and sports hub to open in Stone.

Stone Valley Secondary School is planned to open by 2020 on a site in Stone Lodge, councillors confirmed at a meeting last Thursday.

The secondary school will be have an eight form entry system and will eventually have 1,500 pupils across eight classes on the 16.8 acre site.

The Stone Lodge site will be subject to a planning application, but council leader Jeremy Kite was optimistic.

He said: "I'm very pleased the school is being built. With all the houses people say to us we need more infrastructure, schools hospital and police.

"This is showing them that we are doing that. I'm very pleased this will be a mixed development as well, with a mix leisure and sport and only a small amount of houses.

"It's a valuable land for development and it's pleasing we aren't just building houses."

As well as setting a target date for the new secondary school, it has been recommended that a application for a rugby club and pitches be submitted for council approval.

Dartford Valley Rugby Club will then be built and ready to use by the end of next year.

According to a report submitted to councillors: "It is proposed that Stone Lodge will comprise of the school and associated outdoor space, a rugby facility, a significant element of open space and a small element of housing in two

separate parcels.

"A major component of the proposals is the construction of a new rugby facility on the north-west corner of the site, completing the ‘sports hub’ of rugby, judo and bowls."

Dartford Labour leader and Stone councillor Jonathon Hawkes said a secondary school is much needed.

Cllr Hawkes said: "We’ve desperately needed a secondary school in this area for years and it will help alleviate the pressure of local places and hopefully enable Stone residents to send their kids to school a bit closer to home!

"This is still a proposal and subject to planning application. That’s important, because if there is going to be development of this scale in area that already experiences traffic congestion and high levels of air pollution it’s really important that we see a robust plan for managing traffic plan in an out both during construction and when the school and sports club open."