Sutton Council today recommended planning permission is refused for a new school in Rosehill, despite the urgent shortage of pupil places in the borough.

Plans to build a secondary school for more than 1000 students on a disused football pitch and tennis courts at Rosehill Recreation Ground will be decided upon at a committee meeting on September 10.

The Council says the proposed design is out of keeping with the area and fails to meet the standards of an "exemplary" learning environment.

Today, Councillor Jayne McCoy, Deputy Leader of Sutton Council, said: "We have no objection to building a school on this site.

"However, in return for any loss of valued public space, we must see buildings that are sympathetically designed to respect their setting.

"The current application falls far short of our Council-agreed expectations.

"We have a proven track record of building high quality schools in Sutton, just look at the passivhaus Harris Academy Sutton on the old Sutton Hospital site.

"I believe all students in Sutton deserve to be educated in exemplary learning environments, irrespective of who builds it or where it is located."

In March, the Lib Dem-controlled council announced an extra 134 secondary school spaces were needed in the borough.

The proposed school would provide 1,200 places for pupils aged 11-16, and 350 school places for sixth formers.

The development would also include a special education needs school for 56 pupils on the autistic spectrum.

Council leader Ruth Dombey has been accused of playing politics by opposing the plans, since Rosehill is her ward.

Conservative MP for Sutton, Cheam & Worcester Park, Paul Scully, said: "Disappointing to see Sutton council reject the advice of its own design panel and recommend refusing planning permission for a much-needed school in Rosehill, the ward of the council leader.

"Should not be playing politics with our children."

The developer, Wates Construction, says it has already improved the plans in accordance with the design panel's recommendations.

A spokesperson said: "“We have improved our plans extensively over the last month, following feedback from the Design Review Panel, and we are delighted that residents like the look of the new plans.

“It is deeply saddening that the Council are trying to crush these plans, and I would encourage all Sutton parents to attend the meeting on 10th September and make their support for new schools heard.”

A survey carried out by Wates on 68 local residents found that 89% "supported or strongly supported proposals for the new school."

Subject to planning permission, the school is due to open in 2021 but it is understood plans are being put in place to open a temporary site next year to meet demand.