A new secondary free school for 900 pupils has been approved for development in Walton-on-Thames.

Despite significant opposition to the plans for Heathside Walton-on-Thames, primarily focusing on the loss of green-belt land and associated traffic issues, the plans were voted through by Elmbridge councillors with 9 votes, against 7 opposing the plans and one abstention.

The plans from ElmWey Trust, which also runs a Heathside school in nearby Weybridge, will see the new development built on land near Waterside Drive and Terrace Road.

Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab wrote in support of the decision, commenting: “Delighted to see planning permission go through for Heathside Walton free school - a great new state secondary serving Walton and Molesey children, and easing pressure on places across the constituency.”

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Responding to Mr Raab’s statement, a spokesman for Esher Residents Association wrote: We do not agree. The numbers are highly questionable, roads to the school dangerous (not conducive to cycling) and the drop off parking limited.

“The school will be in the wrong place (Walton not Molesey) and it's Green Belt.”

The application had received 187 supporting comments at the time of publishing, against 152 objections.

The school will provide for children aged 11 to 16 and includes an amphitheatre and sports pitches, with an athletics track.

Heathside Walton is set to open in September 2022, subject to final approval from the Secretary of State.