You may remember previous plans from Surrey County Council to move Reigate Priory Junior School to new premises at Woodhatch Place, towards the South of Cockshot Hill. These were vigorously opposed by the local Reigate community, and were rejected by the Council's own Planning Committee in February this year. Parents, residents and businesses alike were hugely concerned with child safety on such a busy main road, pollution, traffic congestion, the impact on local businesses and the impact of increased parking for local residents. With Holmesdale Infant School being a feeder school to Priory Junior School, the distance between the two schools would cause insurmountable barriers to many parents in North Reigate, especially those with siblings across the two schools. The plans would also push many parents who walk children to school into their cars, increasing pollution, traffic, and environmental harm.
We are therefore extremely concerned to see Surrey County Council bring back their proposal once again. In their recently issued public consultation, Surrey County Council are asking residents to choose between 2 options. Option 1 is the already rejected move to Woodhatch Place. Option 2 is to set up a working group to explore re-organisation options for schools within Reigate. Opton 2 still allows for the prospect of a move to Woodhatch Place as part of that review.
The consultation can be found at Consultation on the provision of primary school places in Reigate - Surrey County Council - Citizen Space (surreysays.co.uk) and is open until 21 January. We urge residents to have their say, and respond to the consultation. In our view, the move to Woodhatch Place is the wrong option, for all the same reasons which led to it being previously rejected. We are deeply concerned that Surrey County Council appear to have taken little to no regard of the numerous concerns previously raised by the local community.
A local independent campaign group "Stop the Move" has produced this leaflet which illustrates the significant concerns with a move to a Woodhatch Place. It also details a "Hybrid proposal" which would involve building in and around the current school location, allowing the school to stay on site. Despite support from the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, and many residents, Surrey County Council have so far refused to ever consider this hybrid proposal. The leaflet gives further information how residents can contact Surrey County Council about the hybrid proposal, as well as responding to the consultation.