Full marks for school project

Rydens Enterprise School and Sixth Form College in Surrey will gain a state-of-the-art facility as part of a 296 new home development proposal. Approximately 4.5 hectares of playing fields and the existing school buildings are being released to Bewley Homes. The scheme in Hersham near Walton-on-Thames includes a new school catering for up to 1,688 students, a new access junction and community and sports facilities for use by local residents and community groups.

MD at Genesis Town Planning, Kris Mitra, recalls, “The application was very emotive. Residents living near the school already experience a lot of vehicle movements. Changing people’s perceptions proved to be challenging. Residents in adjacent streets were concerned about the prospect of through traffic and increased drop-off and pick-up activity.”

To alleviate traffic problems, the site access was reviewed by the Motion team. Managing Director Phil Bell asserts, “Access was critical – the preferred solution being to provide a standard T-junction onto Hersham Road. We argued against a last minute proposal to introduce a roundabout. It would not have been either the safest or most effective way of entering the site.”

The right outcome
School Bursar Ian MacKenzie adds, “With Motion’s support we got the right outcome for a rather complex project. The company’s technical expertise helped us address the highways and traffic issues very effectively.”

The planning application included provision for new all-weather sports pitches. However, the principle of developing the existing playing fields came under criticism from Sports England. The scheme was referred to the Secretary of State who concluded there was no requirement for the application to be called in.

Motion assisted with a well-attended public consultation and countered opposition to the scheme. David Lewis explains, “In spite of fears about traffic generated by the expanded school, we demonstrated that the proposals would not have a detrimental effect on the local road network.”

According to Kris Mitra, “Motion worked very closely with Surrey County Council to come up with the right solution for the development. The company enjoys a good relationship with the county council and we like the way they approach problem solving through consultation and negotiation.”

Planning consent was granted for the scheme in November 2014. Motion’s infrastructure design team has since been appointed to assist the client with the Section 278 agreement.

An abridged version of this article first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Insight.

Image copyright: Scott Brownrigg Architects


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