Lib Dem members of the Planning & Regulatory Committee on Surrey County Council were among those who voted against the controversial plans to replace Reigate Priory Junior School with a new build within the grounds of the county council's own headquarters at Woodhatch Place on Cockshot Hill, Reigate.
At the lively meeting on 22 February 2023 the Committee narrowly voted to reject the plans on a number of grounds which included concerns around the increase in traffic in an already congested area; inconsiderate parking in nearby residential streets; the impact on neighbouring properties; the plans were not in line with the Council's own local transport plan to encourage safe walking and cycling.
Penny Rivers (Godalming North) commented:
"The Committee accepted that the school needed to be replaced and that a new bespoke Reigate Priory School should be inclusive, accessible, state of the art . However, the proposed location is not a good one. The plans take no account of the Local Transport Plan and would lead to an increase in car usage causing more traffic, local congestion, pollution, and parking problems."
Harry Boparai (Sunbury Common and Ashford Common) added:
"This was clearly a controversial application and there were some very passionate speeches on both sides. In particular I was concerned about how these very young children would be expected to travel safely to and from the new site. The transport proposals were inadequate and failed to support the Council's ambition to promote active travel. Surrey County Council will have to think again."