Walton councillors welcome proposed new secondary school

A new secondary school is proposed for Walton and Molesey children.

The ElmWey Learning Trust, which runs Heathside School in Weybridge, has made a successful bid to the Department for Education to open a new school on the land on the right of Waterside Drive off the Terrace Road roundabout in Walton. Although the Trust has Government permission to open a school, they still need to obtain planning permission from Elmbridge Borough Council.

A few days before Christmas, the ElmWey Learning Trust formally asked the Council whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was needed for the proposal. An EIA examines the possible effects an application would have on the environment. On 6 February the Council confirmed an EIA would be needed.

Walton Conservatives understand a planning application is expected later this year, following public consultation. The original plan was for the school to open in autumn 2019, but it now seems unlikely it would be that soon.

The application will be decided by Elmbridge’s North Area Planning Sub-Committee. Walton North Councillor Alan Kopitko sits on the Sub-
Committee and will be taking a particularly close interest in this proposal. He said “I welcome the idea for a new secondary school for Walton.
I’ve got a 14-year-old son so I know how valuable a new school in our town will be. But this won’t be a simple planning application. The site presents particular challenges, not least being Green Belt and additional traffic being added to Terrace Road. Walton Heathside is an exciting proposal for our town, but we need to ensure the location is right and that the application is the very best it can be.”

Alan added “If I am re-elected on 3 May, this proposal is going to be one of the biggest issues of my next term.”