This Crowdfunding page has been set up in support of the SAY YES TO BULLERS campaign. Launched on Facebook in 2016 by Mum’s in support of the proposed Bullers Wood School for Boys in the London Borough of Bromley. The school will be a new single sex comprehensive secondary school that will be built on existing school land owned by the highly successful Bullers Wood School for Girls in Bromley
BROMLEY CHILDREN FACING AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE
Bromley Council voted against plans to open Bullers Wood School for Boys despite approving it in October 2017.
The decision came less than a month before offers of places were due to be sent out.
Bromley facing a huge shortfall of secondary-school places.
Hundreds of Year 6 boys in the London Borough of Bromley are facing long journeys to secondary schools they don’t want to attend, after the local council turned down a planning application to build a new school in Chislehurst – less than a month before the places were due to be offered.
Bullers Wood School for Boys was due to open at the site of St Hugh’s Playing Fields in Bickley in September having been given approval by the council in October 2017 – much to the delight of parents and children alike.
But the plans hit a snag, when the council was this week asked to ratify the decision made in October.
Desperate parents and children packed into the public gallery to witness the meeting of Bromley Council’s Development Control Committee on Thursday 25th January, hopeful the councillors would simply tick the boxes necessary to ratify the approval.
But instead they watched in dismay as the committee voted 9:7 against ratification of the planning permission given to the school in October – directly contradicting the guidance given them by the council’s CEO.
The boys hoping to attend the new school in September were devastated and parents have been left utterly confused.
The decision means Bromley Council has turned down two new secondary schools in the last two months, despite an imminent school places crisis in the borough. It is estimated there will be a shortfall of 2,600 secondary-school places locally by 2022 – the equivalent of more than two schools.
Cllr Nicholas Bennett, chairman of the Education, Children and Families Select Committee said: “Can I express my great disappointment at the result of the vote. We desperately need this new school for our boys in the north of the borough. Keep up the fight, many councillors fully support the proposal”.
Councillors who voted against the plans cited concerns over traffic and road safety as their
But parents were adamant that the very issue that derailed the ratification – traffic – is going to be worsened by the decision.
Jane Cowie, mother to a son who hoped to attend the school, commented: “My son would have walked to Bullers Wood. Instead he will now have to leave extremely early to stand any chance of getting on already overcrowded buses. Or on the occasions I can, I will drive him; clogging up the roads even further at peak times.”
Nancy Lengthorn, another furious parent, added: “The DCC was given clear guidance by the Council CEO to ratify the approval they had granted in October. Councillors were clearly told not to re-hash old ground. And yet we had to listen to untruths and hyperbole about teenage learner drivers. Suggestions from one councillor for us to consider sending our children to selective school were particularly hard to endure. We are bereft.”
Now local politicians are having to manage a crisis of their own making. This is a fast-moving situation but key campaigners are still hoping a solution can quickly be found so that the school can go ahead and open with a September 2018 intake.
On Sunday (January 28) more than 400 families turned out to walk to St Hugh’s Playing Fields and demonstrate their support for the school.
And Bob Neill (MP for Bromley and Chislehurst), Gareth Bacon (London AM for Bexley andBromley), and Cllr Angela Wilkins (Leader of the Labour Group in the London Borough of Bromley) have formally requested that the decision be called in by the Mayor of London.
This will be the last hope for Year 6 boys who face a very uncertain future.