Chalfont CofE Academy details its planned move to Holy Cross
A VILLAGE primary school has spelled out its plans to relocate, leaving its current site free to be developed on.
Chalfont St Peter CofE Academy has long been keen to move to the site of the former Holy Cross Convent School, based in the Grange, which closed down in 2006.
Since then, the site has been the subject of much controversy, with Chiltern District Council granting permission in 2010 for 198 homes and a 75-bedroom care home to be built there.
This decision was met with anger by people living in Chalfont St Peter, who felt the development was too large for the village to cope with.
The parish council launched into the process of a judicial review against the district council's decision, which is set to be heard next year.
Since then, an alternative plan for the site has been drawn up by developers Arrowcroft in which the Academy would move from its current location in Penn Road to the Holy Cross site.
This week, the idea received the backing of MP Cheryl Gillan, and head teacher of the Academy John Underwood said the move would be of huge benefit to his school and the village as a whole.
He said: "I went along to the Holy Cross Convent School shortly after it closed down, and I was amazed at the facilities that are there.
"Our school is full at the moment, and we don't have a playing field, or kitchen or dining area, and if we went to the Holy Cross site, we could have all that and more.
"We would also like to put in place an all weather pitch which the whole village could use, as well as the potential for extra classes.
"It is a really unique opportunity, and to bulldoze over this potential for a housing development would be a tragedy."
If the move goes ahead, the current site of the school could be used to provide extra housing for the village, but the exact number this could be is unclear.
As well as moving the school to the site, the Arrowcroft proposal would also involve building around 100 homes there as well as a supermarket.
Mr Underwood said: "This is a real opportunity for our school to move to an excellent facility, and to secure our future in a way that also is of benefit to the rest of Chalfont St Peter."
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