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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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For anyone interested in Free Schools:

http://www.getbucks.co.uk/news/local-ne ... ry-8761636

Quote:
The Secretary of State has admitted he “erred” in his decision to allow a free school to stay in a Bucks village.

Mr Pickles in his letter to Stoke Poges Parish Council, who challenged the decision, said he “misinterpreted and misunderstood” evidence and the planning inspector’s findings relating to noise levels for 840 pupils at the Khalsa School.

He conceded he had made an error in overruling the inspector’s report on the school at Hollybush Hill site in Stoke Poges.

The move to reverse his decision means the matter will no longer go to High Court, as it was due to on March 11 and 12.

Vice chairman of the parish council Saera Carter said: “This decision vindicates the village of Stoke Poges and its residents decision to challenge on legitimate grounds of placing a school in the wrong place with no benefit to its residents only harm.

“It’s a victory for the campaigners and all the work they have done.

“We couldn’t let people know before as the offer had to be accepted by everyone, now that it has we are happy to share the news.”

Campaigners have already welcomed the news following their two year battle to have the school closed. They have cited noise, traffic and contamination as issues.

The Education Funding Agency originally had their planning permission rejected by South Bucks District Council, but appealed the decision.

Following this there was a two-day planning inquiry held at the offices in Denham last September, where the inspector ruled that there were several issues.

However, her decision was over turned by Mr Pickles.

Stoke Poges Parish Council decided to challenge this in the High Court.

On Thursday, February 26, the council was told Mr Pickles admitted he had ‘made an ill-informed decision’ which was flawed.

Mr Pickles has now reversed his decision saying he misunderstood the inspector’s findings on the noise that 840 children would make.

Mrs Carter added the council would be meeting with its barrister to decide what the next step is.

The offer also means the court costs in relation to the High Court will be covered though costs prior to this will not be.

The news follows a ruling by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) which found the school had asked parents “unreasonable, unclear, not objective and not fair” questions in its admission policy.

Since the ruling the school has said it has revised its policy.

SECRETARY OF STATE’S DECISION

The decision of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, under reference APP/NO410/A/14/2215541 dated 17 September 2014 to allow an appeal made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (“the Act”) and grant prior approval for permitted development for a proposed change of use of office space to a state-funded school, be quashed under section 288(5)(b) of the Act.

The Secretary of State concedes that he erred, at paragraph 10 of his decision letter, in that he misinterpreted and misunderstood certain of the objective evidence and his Inspector’s findings as regards predicted noise levels for 840 pupils, and consequently in his approach to determining the appeal under section 78 of the Act.

The Secretary of State therefore considers that it is appropriate for the Court to make an Order quashing the decision and remitting the decision for redetermination.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:49 pm 
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Good news for this small village ...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:22 pm
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Unbelievable.

How much public money has been wasted on this case?

And great relief for the parents who would have lost their free buses to Bucks schools.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:48 pm 
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It's the public money that I'm really annoyed about........it's was obvious from the start the location was ridiculous.....sticks out like a sore thumb.....someone's head must roll for this!!! Dollyx


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:27 pm 
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There is probably more to this than meets the eye. My understanding is that if it went to the High Court and they ordered them to re-think, it would then go to "redetermination". This way, knowing they were going to lose, they get to go to redetermination, but aren't being forced into it, and so not setting a precedent in court. It also means they have time to come up with another reason why the school should be there - after the election. A victory for now for the villagers of Stoke Poges, but who knows what will happen next? Pickles has been made to look foolish by admitting he hadn't understood the argument in the first place, which is ridiculous, a two year old could have understood if they had read it. And what a waste of public money, starting with the £4.5 million the DfE paid for it in the first place.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
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Location: South Bucks
Sadly, I think scary mum's note of caution is quite right. It was became clear that Pickles would lose in the High Court so a less embarrassing route out was chosen that had the added bonus of allowing villagers to think it was now all over and they had won. He can still decide in favour of the Khalsa School.

What's the betting that further decisions are delayed until after the election? ;-)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:13 pm 
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Yes, definitely pre-election procrastination - just like the Sevenaoks Grammar Annex ---- trying to keep everyone happy in the hope of max votes and not wanting to upset any voter before the election .... the thinking here must be that there's a small number of Khalsa Academy supporters in comparison to Bucks Tory voters who didn't like the previous decision.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Quote:
Bucks Tory voters who didn't like the previous decision.


mystery - that is SO out of order! Have you ever driven through this village? it nothing to do with politics it's to do with spoiling a village for a school which insists on a veggie lunch menu.

Would you be happy with this for your children?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:04 pm 
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They have also been found to have ridden a coach & horses through the admissions code - discriminating against non Sikhs while accusing the locals of racism. It's all been very unpleasant from what I gather. Many people from in and around Stoke Poges don't necessarily vote Tory, mystery :D


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:45 pm 
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Sure - there'll be people who vote all colours right across Bucks who don't want that school in that village, but it's the Conservative voters that they're thinking about here and that's what I was referring to. Or, if it was so unpopular with all colours then it's even better to have some uncertainty - they may get extra voters through holding up the possibility of a further decision in favour of the school until after the election.

What are the possibilities now? I don't really understand the news - is it definite the school will have to move or does this just back one step in reaching the final final decision as to whether this school stays or goes?


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