A village in Buckinghamshire intends to evict a free Sikh school
Villagers in Stoke Poges are taking legal action against Khalsa Secondary Academy to prevent it’s permanent residence in the area. They wish to overturn the decision in favour of the school’s location made by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
They argue the narrow roads of the village will not be able to handle traffic brought along once the school starts running.
In addition to this, South Bucks District Council is appealing against the Secretary’s decision to allow the school to stay in the village.
The council’s cabinet member for sustainable development, Roger Reed said, “We do not undertake legal action lightly. Eric Pickles has made a bad decision and we need to take action.”
The issue first arose after the school was given temporary use of a disused office block after they were informed there was no appropriate space in a closer location in Slough. After being given temporary housing whilst they sought a permanent base, the Department of Education (DfE) stated the school would remain indefinitely in the village.
The district council objected to this in a hearing chaired by an independent inspector citing, “the severity of the noise impact on local residents”. His claim was rejected by Mr. Pickles however.
Most of the pupils attending the school, conceived by the Slough Sikh Education Trust, will be transported by bus into the village every morning from Slough. The office block site was reportedly bought by the DfE for £4.5m.
Villagers reveal they have been labelled, “white middle-class nimbys or even racists” as a result of their protest against the school.
The academy opened with 180 pupils in September and will move up to housing 850 pupils. It operates as an all inclusive school encouraging academic achievement and extracurricular activities.