Between 25 March and 3 May 2019 the Board of Trustees of The Burgate School and Sixth Form held a public consultation asking for views to be expressed on the proposed sale of 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) of land.
The consultation ran for six weeks. It was live on the school’s website, announced and publicised in the New Forest Journal, and invitations to respond were circulated directly to stakeholders, a list of whom were published in the original consultation document. Postal and email responses were welcomed.
During the six week consultation period, we received 13 responses from:
We are grateful to all those who contributed and responded. A summary of the responses can be found in the table below.
|Received from:||Support for:
|Burgate Sixth Form Council||1|
|Public / parents||1||3|
|Fordingbridge Infant and Junior Schools Federation||1|
|Hampshire County Council||1|
|Fordingbridge Town Council||1|
|Natural England||Refers to guidance|
|13 responses in total|
* Including one independent response and one response representing a group of residents
Following the conclusion of the consultation period, the Board of Trustees considered all responses received at its Full Board meeting on Thursday 16 May 2019. Whilst some responses raised concerns over environmental impact, based on the generality of some of the comments, it was not always clear to the Board whether responders were against the specifics of the selling of school land or the whole issue of the local housing developments currently underway. As always in discussion, the trustees were of the view that it was not their role to comment on the generality of the proposed local developments.
In support of the proposal a number of responders made reference to: the improvements of access arrangements at the front of the school; the allocation of the area as alternative natural recreational green space, subject to planning approval (both of these points were noted in the original consultation document as a condition of any sale); and the subsequent benefits which would be available to the school and its students with monies from the sale of land being invested directly back into school sport facilities.
Ultimately, the Board, whilst sympathetic to the views expressed in the consultation responses that related to concerns over the environment, agreed the Board’s first responsibility was to the school and the students’ best interests. Balanced against what could be achieved from the proceeds of the sale together with the improvements that would be made to access arrangements thus safeguarding student safety, alongside potential opportunities for increased numbers of students to be able to walk or cycle to school, the Board agreed the environmental concerns raised in some of the responses received were not of sufficient character to change the Board’s view and halt proceeding with the proposed sale.
Following the review of the consultation responses, and taking into account all of the responses received, the Full Board moved to vote on a proposal to proceed and seek approval from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for the sale of land. The proposal was seconded and voted through. The School will now take the next step in the procedure by seeking approval from the Department of Education to proceed with the sale.
If anyone has any questions or further queries, please email Miss Sarah Hewett, Clerk to the Board of Trustees, at: email@example.com