Two years on and the small semi rural village of Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire fights on to protect its Greenbelt from the placement of an 840 place Free School to serve the community of Slough Berkshire.
The Education Funding Agency had their planning permission rejected by South Bucks District Council. They appealed this decision over a two day Public Inquiry. The appeal was recommended for dismissal by the independent Inspector.
Eric Pickles (SSCLG) decided to call this decision in and overrule the Inspector.
Stoke Poges Parish Council, backed by its residents, decided to challenge this in the High Court. On Thursday 26 February the council received notification that the SoS intended to quash his decision. The DCLG has said that it will concede the claim to the extent that it agrees the decision should be quashed because the Secretary of State misunderstood the Inspector’s findings on noise.
This decision vindicates the village of Stoke Poges and its residents decision to challenge on legitimate grounds of placing a school in the wrong place with no benefit to its residents only harm. The DCLG has offered to pay the costs incurred by Stoke Poges Parish Council and South Bucks District Council in mounting the challenge.