Project 

Cambian Group Specialist School

South Somerset

We secured unanimous approval at committee for an application to increase the number of day students attending a specialist school in the Somerset region. The site provides education for both residential students and day students and our proposal involved utilising an existing building within the site to provide a new facility for up to 16 children.

We secured planning consent to increase the number of day students attending a site used for education in the Somerset region. The site provides education for both residential students and day students. The proposal involved utilising an existing building within the site to provide a new facility for up to 16 children, aged between 7 and 17, who have suffered trauma. The application was unanimously approved at committee in September 2016.

We were appointed to provide a new day school within the grounds of a large site that was used for both residential students and day students (Use Class C2 and D1). Cambian had identified a building within the site that they wanted to convert to provide education facilities for children who had suffered trauma.

The building could be used for education purposes; however, there was a condition attached to a historic permission, which restricted the number of day students to 25. There were already 20 day students attending the site, and the proposal involved providing education for up to 16 additional day students. Therefore, we varied the original consent to allow for more day students, through a S73 application.   

Concerns were raised during the application process about the potential impact on the local highway network, by both local residents and ward councillors. In response to these objections, our consultation activities included two site visits with members of the planning committee to discuss the proposals and review site access. A brochure providing further details about how the school would operate was also prepared and distributed to members of the committee.     

We secured a positive recommendation from officers, but the application needed to be considered by the planning committee because it had been called in for consideration by both ward councillors.

We wrote to members ahead of the committee meeting, to provide further information about Cambian and the proposed school. We also prepared and delivered a speech at committee, on Cambian’s behalf, in support of the application.

Having considered our application and the supporting information provided, members unanimously resolved to grant planning permission.

Summary of achievements

  • Preparation, submission and monitoring of planning application
  • Consultation with elected representatives
  • Establishing a good relationship with council officers
  • Application was approved unanimously at planning committee