Sixth form extension will go ahead at King John School

Margaret Wilson, headteacher, Melanie McGauley, deputy headteacher, Katrina Bentley, school business manager and Phil Ruffle, architect from Munday and Cramer

Margaret Wilson, headteacher, Melanie McGauley, deputy headteacher, Katrina Bentley, school business manager and Phil Ruffle, architect from Munday and Cramer

First published in Local News

A COUNCILLOR has claimed Castle Point Council might as well rip up its green belt policy as more and more planning applications on green lung land are being given the go-ahead.

Canvey Independent Dave Blackwell’s comments came as the council’s development control committee made a u-turn decision and approved plans submitted by the King John School that had been earmarked for refusal.

The popular school, in Shipwrights Drive, Thundersley, applied to extend its sixth form building by constructing two glass-fronted wings to cope with an increasing number of pupils who want to go to the school.

The plans also propose to demolish the existing caretaker’s house, which is vacant and in a poor state of repair, and relocate parking areas that will be lost.

However, planning officers recommended it should be refused claiming it was “inappropriate development” for green belt land.

Mr Blackwell said he would vote against the application “out of principal” but admitted he would be “the odd one out”.

He said: “It’s a waste of time having a green belt policy to be honest.

“What’s the point in having policies if we’re constantly overriding them? Bits and pieces of green belt are being eroded away and this council won’t be looked upon as protecting green belt much longer because we won’t have any left.”

Councillors who were in favour of the plans only raised concerns about car parking.

The extension would allow up to 174 additional pupils to attend the school, creating a total attendance of 2,097 and a requirement of 280 car parking spaces.

The scheme aims to provide 158 spaces, which is the current number available for students, but the school is in negotiation with the nearby Hollywood Restaurant about using its 40 spaces in the daytime while restrictions could be placed on sixth formers bringing cars to the school.

When it came to the vote, eight councillors voted for the proposal to go ahead, three were against.

Margaret Wilson, the school’s headteacher, spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting and said as her school was the only one in the borough with a sixth form it is inundated with 1,000 applications every year.

Mrs Wilson also explained there is an “urgent need” for more accommodation as part of guidelines issued by the Government and said she didn’t know what she would have done if the plans had been refused.

She said: “I had to do some research on the key purposes of green belt land and this proposal did not contravene any of those.

“It will really help us to improve our sixth form teaching and I’m totally and utterly delighted with the decision.”

Comments (12)

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10:13am Fri 8 Feb 13

onorris24 says...

go to belfries
go to belfries onorris24
  • Score: 0

10:14am Fri 8 Feb 13

onorris24 says...

autocorrect is ridiculous, i did mean belfairs
autocorrect is ridiculous, i did mean belfairs onorris24
  • Score: 1

10:22am Fri 8 Feb 13

InTheKnowOk says...

One rule for one springs to mind ...
One rule for one springs to mind ... InTheKnowOk
  • Score: 1

10:38am Fri 8 Feb 13

Sean4u says...

Car parking spaces for sixth formers? I suspect the motivation is more likely to be to ensure as much land as possible is converted from 'green' while there's a liberal government.

The trough's open, get your snouts in!
Car parking spaces for sixth formers? I suspect the motivation is more likely to be to ensure as much land as possible is converted from 'green' while there's a liberal government. The trough's open, get your snouts in! Sean4u
  • Score: 1

10:55am Fri 8 Feb 13

Curbishly says...

It looks like the Echo is now, officially, the Canvey Island Independent Party's own propaganda sheet.
It looks like the Echo is now, officially, the Canvey Island Independent Party's own propaganda sheet. Curbishly
  • Score: -3

3:55pm Fri 8 Feb 13

John T Pharro says...

Sean4u wrote:
Car parking spaces for sixth formers? I suspect the motivation is more likely to be to ensure as much land as possible is converted from 'green' while there's a liberal government.

The trough's open, get your snouts in!
Parking for 6th formers? According to Councillor Castle when the concerns were raised at the lack of parking at the now being built vocational college on Canvey for the same age group, he said the pupils won't come by car, but bike and public transport. Just watch what happens on the Castle View Estate when that opens. Cue yellow lines all around he side streets in the area and/or resident parking only.
[quote][p][bold]Sean4u[/bold] wrote: Car parking spaces for sixth formers? I suspect the motivation is more likely to be to ensure as much land as possible is converted from 'green' while there's a liberal government. The trough's open, get your snouts in![/p][/quote]Parking for 6th formers? According to Councillor Castle when the concerns were raised at the lack of parking at the now being built vocational college on Canvey for the same age group, he said the pupils won't come by car, but bike and public transport. Just watch what happens on the Castle View Estate when that opens. Cue yellow lines all around he side streets in the area and/or resident parking only. John T Pharro
  • Score: 2

5:37pm Fri 8 Feb 13

benfleet101 says...

The Hollywood restaurant holds weddings and seminars during the week, in the daytime and they have been known to rope off their car park to stop parents parking there at these times. Where will these customers be parking if these 'negotiations' are agreed? Are the Hollywood really willing to put this business in jeopardy? I smell a rat...
The Hollywood restaurant holds weddings and seminars during the week, in the daytime and they have been known to rope off their car park to stop parents parking there at these times. Where will these customers be parking if these 'negotiations' are agreed? Are the Hollywood really willing to put this business in jeopardy? I smell a rat... benfleet101
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Fri 8 Feb 13

John T Pharro says...

benfleet101 wrote:
The Hollywood restaurant holds weddings and seminars during the week, in the daytime and they have been known to rope off their car park to stop parents parking there at these times. Where will these customers be parking if these 'negotiations' are agreed? Are the Hollywood really willing to put this business in jeopardy? I smell a rat...
Very good point.
[quote][p][bold]benfleet101[/bold] wrote: The Hollywood restaurant holds weddings and seminars during the week, in the daytime and they have been known to rope off their car park to stop parents parking there at these times. Where will these customers be parking if these 'negotiations' are agreed? Are the Hollywood really willing to put this business in jeopardy? I smell a rat...[/p][/quote]Very good point. John T Pharro
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Fri 8 Feb 13

WhateverS says...

It's a school wanting to expand, a very good school at that, why would anyone not want them to do well. We all want our children to do well and go to a fully functional school
It's a school wanting to expand, a very good school at that, why would anyone not want them to do well. We all want our children to do well and go to a fully functional school WhateverS
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Local yachtsman says...

I do not understand why anyone would begrudge school improvements that do not impinge on anyone elses property. Good luck to KJS.
I do not understand why anyone would begrudge school improvements that do not impinge on anyone elses property. Good luck to KJS. Local yachtsman
  • Score: 2

10:09am Sat 9 Feb 13

Letmetryagain says...

How on earth can sixth formers afford to buy and run cars ?

Or are they funded by mummy and daddy ?

"look what we bought Jemima for her birthday"
How on earth can sixth formers afford to buy and run cars ? Or are they funded by mummy and daddy ? "look what we bought Jemima for her birthday" Letmetryagain
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Sun 10 Feb 13

Keptquiettillnow says...

Thats the problem when a vote in a council chamber comes down to a 'Show of hands'. Its not democracy, but people looking round to what the others are voting for.
Thats the problem when a vote in a council chamber comes down to a 'Show of hands'. Its not democracy, but people looking round to what the others are voting for. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: -2

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