Chapeltown Academy head vows to overturn school plan rejection

Rebecca Maxted, Chapeltown Academy Principal Designate
Rebecca Maxted, Chapeltown Academy Principal Designate
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The headteacher of Chapeltown Academy has insisted the decision to reject plans for the sixth form ‘will be overturned’.

Rebecca Maxted spoke after Sheffield Council’s planning committee turned down proposals to secure the free school’s location on Hydra Business Park.

The school opened to pupils in September and aims to provide an academic centre of excellence although it has not been without its critics.

Councillors at Tuesday’s planning meeting had raised many concerns about the ‘unsuitable’ location, potential road safety problems and that future developments on the park - which was designated for industrial use - could be ‘compromised’.

Ms Maxted said there would now be an appeal.

She added: “We can reassure our staff, students and prospective students that this decision will be overturned and we will be in our new premises in September.”

The plans were recommended for approval by planning officers.

In Tuesday’s meeting they said that although there were some issues, there were also benefits to the plans and ‘on balance’ they had been put forward for the go ahead.

However the meeting heard that the concerns raised were also valid planning reasons to reject the plan.

Ms Maxted also said the planning decision was ‘wrong’, went against advice from the Education Funding Agency

She said concerns raised before ‘have always turned out to be misguided’ and prioritised ‘political ends.’

She added: “Our focus is on our students and their education and nothing will get in the way of that.”