Durand decision is '˜disappointing but not surprising'`

Chairman of the Durand Academy governors Sir Greg Martin said he was '˜disappointed but not surprised' at the South Downs National Park decision to refuse permission for temporary classrooms and a boarding house at the former St Cuthman's School in Stedham.

Monday, 14th November 2016, 3:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:02 pm
Sir Greg Martin with children at the Lambeth Academy
Sir Greg Martin with children at the Lambeth Academy

He said trustees had seen the officers’ recommendation “and we knew there was little or no point in going to the meeting.”

Now he said trustees would be discussing whether to appeal the decision, put in another application or to continue using the St Cuthman’s site for some 75 children to GCSE level.

“It’s a highly valuable educational resource to have and to be able to give the children the experience of living in the national park.”

It was a setback, he said, “it’s been a long and difficult road, but this is not the end.”

He denied there was no master plan for the long term future of the school.

“If we had been a middle class private school we would have been granted this permission for temporary buildings , but we have been treated differently,” said Sir Greg.

It was ‘nonsense’ to say the temporary buildings could be on site for years, he added. If after five years the school was not able to replace them , it would remove them.

“If we had temporary accommodation we could have had more children there and time to do a full application.”

He said there was ‘no intention whatsoever’ of having commercial activity on the Stedham site. But he said the school may have offered swimming and other facilities to the community for which it would charge.”

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