Agenda item

Planning application - MC/19/2530 - Land at Westmoor Farm (North) Moor Street, Rainham, Gillingham

Rainham South


Construction of a secondary school with formation of new access from Otterham Quay Lane together with associated car parking and drop-off area, pedestrian access, drainage, landscaping, sports pitches and areas for formal and informal outdoor play.




The Head of Planning outlined the planning application in detail and suggested that should the Committee be minded to approve the application, proposed conditions 2, 4, 12  and 23 be amended as set out on the supplementary agenda advice sheet.


He also drew attention to a pamphlet supplied by the applicant on the proposed new mixed secondary school, a copy of which was appended to the supplementary agenda advice sheet.


The Head of Planning informed the Committee that the Department for Education had recognised a need for new schools to serve existing residents in Rainham and Strood and therefore it was appropriate for consideration to be given to the current application now and not delay until the Local Plan process.


He advised the Committee of the extensive work that had been undertaken to identify a suitable site for a new school in Rainham and the site proposed was the site that was considered to have the least impact.


In particular, he referred to the impact upon the highway and advised upon the work that had been undertaken to identify new bus routes to serve the locations from which pupils would be travelling. He stressed that as this was a secondary school, a high proportion of pupils would walk or cycle to school and this would likely reduce the impact upon vehicular use of the highway. In addition, there were a number of highway improvements proposed to alleviate congestion in surrounding roads and junctions.


The Principal Transport Planner outlined the proposed bus routes in detail.


The Committee noted that subject to planning approval, it was hoped that the new school would be open as an Academy to accept pupils in September 2021.


The Committee discussed the application having regard to the following issues:


·         Pedestrian crossing facilities.

·         The proposed drop off area for parents and the need for enforcement of traffic regulation orders to control indiscriminate parking by parents on the highway when dropping off their children.

·         Use of the car park by pupils who own cars.

·         The landscape scheme and, in particular, the desire for provision of trees rather than shrubs.

·         Possible provision of car parking permits for access to the school car park for those pupils who live furthest from the school via the school’s Car Park Management Plan.

·         The possible inclusion of an additional bus route to cover those pupils travelling to the school from Swale.

·         The need for bus routes to be maintained in perpetuity.

·         The operating hours of the school and the impact that this can have on the highway during peak hours.

·         The need for the school to work with the community and the possible introduction of quarterly meetings with residents.

·         Future aims for the school to be carbon neutral.

·         The cladding materials to be used on the school buildings.


The Head of Planning responded to questions and advised that a number of the issues raised could be addressed through the School’s Travel Plan and though an informative. The issue of external materials was covered by proposed condition 6.


The Principal Transport Planner confirmed that the proposed bus routes would be delivered by the Academy and would be continually evolving and adjusted having regard to each new September intake at the school.




a)            Approved with conditions 1, 3,  5 – 11, 13 – 22 and 24 – 26 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report and conditions 2, 4, 12 and 23 amended as follows:


2. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans:


Drawing numbers FS0751-ALA-00-ZZ-DR-L-0002 Rev P05, FS0751-ALA-00-ZZ-DR-L-0004 Rev P02, FS0751-ALA-00-ZZDR-L-0005 Rev P02, FS0751-ALA-00-ZZ-DR-L-0006 Rev P02, FS0751-ALA-00-ZZ-DR-L-0007 Rev P02, FS0751-ALA-00-ZZ-DR-L-0012 Rev P01 and 4185-004-101 Rev P5 received on 24 September 2019; and FS0751-CPM-01-GF-DR-A-2000 P07, FS0751-CPM-01-01-DR-A-2001 P08, FS0751-CPM-01-02-DR-A-2002 P7, FS0751-CPM-01-RL-DR-A-2003 P05, FS0751-CPM-01-EL-DR-A-2004 P10, FS0751-CPM-01-ELDR-A-2005 P09 and FS0751-CPM-01-SX-DR-A-2006 P06 received on 11 November 2019 and 09/01/2020.


Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.


4. The specification of plant equipment and façade materials will be in accordance with the recommendations of the approved Noise Impact Assessment reference 0043201 (dated 17 September 2019). These elements shall be completed before first use of the school and shall thereafter be maintained in accordance with the approved Noise Impact Assessment.

Reason: Required before the first use of the development in order to minimise the impact of the noise on the amenities of user of the school in accordance with Policy BNE2 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.


12   Prior to the first use of the school herein approved, details of the following biodiversity enhancement measures shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority:


i.      Bat roost and maternity boxes to be incorporated within the fabric of the south side of the building.

ii.     Bird boxes for sparrows and swifts to be incorporated within the fabric of the building.

iii.    Log piles to be kept along the north west part of the school ground.


The biodiversity enhancement measures shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details prior to the first us of the school and retained thereafter.


Reason: To enhance the ecology and biodiversity of the area in accordance with Policy BNE37 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.


23.    Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order amending, revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification) the school herein approved shall be used for education and community uses as approved pursuant to condition 22 only and shall not be used for any other purposes, including any other use that would fall within Use Classes D1 or D2 of the schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (or in any provision equivalent to those classes in any statutory instrument revoking and re-enacting that order with or without modification) and no change of use shall be carried out unless planning permission has been granted on an application relating thereto.


Reason: To enable the Local Planning Authority to control such development in the interests of the amenities of the local residents and highway safety and in accordance with Policies BNE2 and T1 of the Medway Local Plan 2003.


b)            In light of the tight timescale involved in this project, the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to agree in consultation with the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Opposition Spokesperson further conditions and/or informatives as appropriate covering the following issues and provide a future update to the Committee on the school’s travel plan and climate change:


1.         An additional condition re climate change measures.

2.         The additional condition and details to be submitted pursuant to the landscape condition 14 should maximise additional tree planting.

3.         The details pursuant to Condition 21 should look at securing an additional bus service for children coming from the Sittingbourne direction and also making sure the bus service is secured in perpetuity.

Supporting documents: