The Secretary of State has granted planning permission for two new schools to be built in Rosehill.

Wates, working on behalf of the DfE, had applied to build a new secondary school and small special school on the disused All-Weather Pitch and part of the Sports Village at Rosehill Recreation Ground in June 2019.

But proposals for the Recreation Ground development were voted down by six Lib Dem councillors to four Conservatives, who supported the plans, in September 2019.

Sutton Council supported the planning officer's recommendation of refusal on the basis that the design is out of keeping with the area and fails to meet the standards of an "exemplary" learning environment.

Supporters of the plans argued that "subjective" concerns over design should not override the pressing need to solve the school place crisis in the borough.

Construction group Wates appealed the decision, and a public inquiry was held in September 2020.

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The Inspector leading the public inquiry concluded in favour of the appeal and the Secretary of State agreed with the overall recommendation and granted planning permission for the development.

The "much-needed" schools will be operated by the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

In a statement online, Will Smith, CEO of the Greenshaw Learning Trust, said: “There has been a lot of hard work and dedication to get us to this stage and we are delighted that planning permission has been granted for the new schools.

"The buildings, classrooms and other spaces designed make superb provision for students, both for the secondary school and the special school for children with autism.

"The specialist rooming, the internal and external spaces and access, and the connectivity of the special school with the secondary school will provide some of the best provision for students with autism anywhere in the country.”

Greenshaw Learning Trust has confirmed that the new secondary school will be a non-selective, mixed comprehensive school for local children with eight forms of entry and a sixth form.

It reported that the school will open with 240 students in the first year. In each of the following years it will take a further 240 first year students and in the third year we will open a sixth form with 120 students.

When full, the school will have 1200 students in Years 7 to 11, plus a sixth form of approximately 350.

Sutton Conservatives have welcomed the announcement from the independent Planning Inspectorate that will also allow a special educational needs school to be built on the Rose Hill site.

Your Local Guardian: Councillor Tony Shields with Sutton and Cheam MP Paul ScullyCouncillor Tony Shields with Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Scully

Paul Scully said upon hearing the news from the Planning Inspectorate: “It is a great relief that the right decision has been made regarding the two new schools being built in Sutton.

"I was all too aware that for far too long our council were dragging their heels on this issue and pleased it has now been addressed independently.

“Sutton has a fantastic set of local schools and I’m sure the two new schools that are finally to be built will be worthy additions to our borough.”

Elliot Colburn MP commented: "I am glad that they have listened to our calls to approve Rosehill – the most appropriate site for a new secondary school and SEN school in our borough.

"Now, we need to get on with the job and build this school so that future pupils in Carshalton and Wallington, and elsewhere in the borough, can receive the education they deserve.”

Cllr Jane Pascoe, Lead Conservative Member for Schools on Sutton Council said: “It is regrettable that we have spent so much time on making a decision which impacts so many families and children across our borough. However, those families who would have been facing limbo in the future can have some assurance that their children will have a school place in Sutton.

“It is pleasing that within this development we will also have included a Special Educational Needs school that will serve over 50 pupils.”

Sutton Council have been contacted for comment.