Issue - meetings

Secondary Free School in Strood

Meeting: 05/03/2019 - Cabinet (Item 7)

7 Secondary Free School in Strood pdf icon PDF 258 KB




This report provided details of the proposed acquisition of land for a secondary Free School in Strood to help meet rising demand, which sought approval for the Council to underwrite a third party overage held against the preferred land.


The report stated that Medway had been successful in acquiring provisional approval for four new schools including the Maritime Academy which would be operated by The Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT). This school was intended to help meet the demand for secondary school places in the Strood area. The Department for Education would fund the land purchase as well as the capital investment in the school, removing that responsibility from the Council.


The report stated that the preferred site was the land to the West of Berwick Way and south of Frindsbury Hill, which was shared with the medieval barn. The report also stated that towards the end of negotiations an ‘overage’ provision had come to light which had not previously been disclosed. The report set out a number of options for consideration in terms of acquiring land in the Strood area for the Free School with the recommended option set out in paragraph 3.5 of the report, specifically that the Council be asked to underwrite the overage provision.


An exempt appendix provided details of the value of the overage, based on current land values.


Exempt appendix No.2 was tabled at the meeting and was set out in Supplementary Agenda No.3. This provided details of an indicative site plan for the proposed school.


Decision number:



The Cabinet approved the underwriting of the overage held against the Manor Barn land in Strood, as set out in the Exempt Appendix.


The Cabinet agreed that the legal agreement is in a format agreed by the Chief Legal Officer, in consultation with the Leader and Portfolio Holders for Children’s Services (Lead Member) and Resources.




Approving the underwriting of the overage will enable the Department for Education (DFE) to agree a land acquisition with the owners of the Manor Barn site, and is a low risk high reward strategy which will provide a site for the construction of a secondary Free School, to help meet increasing demand in Medway, with all construction costs met by the DFE.