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Green light given for new Grove Academy site in Chalvey

A new all-through school, which could cater for almost 2,000 pupils from primary to sixth form, has been given the go-ahead.

Councillors approved an application on Wednesday which will see the Chalvey Community Centre and Chalvey Early Years Centre replaced by a new site for Grove Academy.

The free school, which is currently at a temporary site in Wellington Street, will be funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and is due to open in September 2020.

Grove Academy principal Andrea Fricker told the meeting of Slough Borough Council’s planning committee that the new site was needed to match the growing birth rates in Chalvey.

She said: “The proposed location in Chalvey reflects the fact that the neighbourhood has seen some of the highest birth rates in the last 10 years.

“As a Slough resident myself, I’m immensely proud that we can play a part in the regeneration of Chalvey.”

As part of the redevelopment, Chalvey Community Centre and the Chalvey Early Years Centre will be given a new home in Ladbrooke Road.

But nearby residents spoke out against the plans and warned the council that the development would worsen the area’s traffic congestion.

Joan Horton, who lives in The Crescent, said: “Your report agrees that Chalvey’s existing traffic congestion could worsen despite parking restrictions and incentives for alternative travel.

“It surely will worsen considerably and be detrimental to local businesses and residents.”

The meeting was told that the council had secured five years worth of funding for free bus passes when the school opens.

Parking restrictions and traffic control measures are also under consideration.

Cllr Harjinder Minhas (Lab, Langley St Mary’s) said: “We need to have strict guidelines in place so if someone is parking or driving where they shouldn’t be it needs to be enforced.

“This school is definitely what the town needs and it’s great the DfE are willing to fund it but we need to look after our residents as well.”

Planning permission has been approved, subject to conditions being agreed with the planning manager.

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