Controversial Oldfield plans approved by cabinet
Cllr Eileen Quick said the Bray Road site was the "best of the worst" options facing the council.
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THE "best of the worst" options have been approved by cabinet for the new home of Oldfield Primary School.
Angry residents from the Fisheries Residents Association (FRA) packed Maidenhead Town Hall, in St Ives Road in protest against the Royal Borough's plans to move the popular school to council owned land off Bray Road, on Thursday night. 
Dr Barrie Mair, chairman of the FRA, presented a petition, containing ??? signatures, to cabinet in objection to the Bray Road option and threatened to take legal action against the Royal Borough if they tried to build there.
He said: "The key objections we have are traffic congestion and Green Belt land erosion."
Dr Mair said the consultation carried out by the council was flawed and residents were not given enough time to voice their concerns. He added: "Hopefully the chamber full of people you see behind me helps to put the record straight."
His passionate five minute speech ended with a round of applause from supporters after he pledged to take legal action against the council.
Richard Jarrett, the school's headteacher, pleaded with the council to address those problems at the planning stage, but said the school did prefer the 2.3 hectare Bray Road site.
The council has committed to doubling the size of the school's intake after it achieved "outstanding" from Ofsted and cabinet members queued up to praise the school, making clear it was necessary to move.
Councillors were not keen to entertain the smaller Braywick Meadows or Green Lane options.
Councillor Eileen Quick, cabinet member for education, said: "It is without doubt a very successful school and it is our policy that we will expand successful schools. It is clear to me that Bray Road is the best of the worst options before us."
But councillor Simon Dudley, cabinet member for adult services, was less diplomatic and addressing the FRA said: "All you do by involving lawyers is make lawyers more wealthy and you make them wealthy with council tax payers money."
The new school site will now go through planning committee before work can begin.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
May 26, 12:37
They could of course make better use of the current site by moving the buildings on to two storeys and reclaiming the nursery site for school use.
Nearby are the empty Winbury buildings which could provide a home for the nursery on a permanent or temporary basis.
If the Nursery site was taken over by the school, then building of a new school could then begin on that end of the site without effecting the operations of the school.
Investing in expanding "successful schools" is in itself somewhat a false premis as the success of a school depends on people (both teachers and parents) and both can change over time, albeit this school successfully passed on its leadership some years ago.
In this way both green belt and school objectives could be delivered whilst releasing more green space to pupils on the current site - the current school field being a little on the small side.
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Oct 7, 10:51
Barrie Mair complains about everything, he's very annoying actually. In quite a few people's opinions; Schools, housing & progress is what we need, not old fuddie duddies objecting to everything just because they have too much time on their hands & because it's different. Barrie doesn't represent the whole of Bray like he makes out. Back off Barrie.
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