Heathside School Walton on Thames : Planning Application

August 2019 – Planning Application submitted (Application Reference Number 2019/2157)

Land West Of Rivernook And Northeast Of, Waterside Drive, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

A planning application has now been submitted for development of 900 pupil secondary school (11-16 years) including sports courts and pitches, athletics track and associated spectator seating, car and cycle parking, amphitheatre, landscaping, new vehicular and pedestrian accesses from Waterside Drive and associated works to the Highway.

This application will address the expected severe shortfall in secondary school places across the borough from 2021 onwards (Elmbridge Secondary School Provision)

Currently, there is only just sufficient places for Year 7 entry. Until now the Council has been able to ensure there is sufficient capacity by expanding existing schools or using bulge classes; however, this cannot continue beyond September 2020.

The proposed new school will be operated by ElmWey Learning Trust which operates the nearby Heathside Weybridge School.

As mentioned, it will support the education of 900 secondary school pupils (11 – 16 years) and will have 77 Full Time Employees.

The site will have space for 74 Cars, 3 Motorcycles, 146 Cycle’s in addition to 4 Disability spaces and 2 Mini Bus spaces.

So, all good you may think, nothing to see here.

But, as we have seen with the long drawn out process for the Elmbridge Sports Hub application, the same controversies apply here:

  • The site is designated Metropolitan Green Belt land and is identified as ‘highly performing’ in the most recent Green Belt Review commissioned by Elmbridge Borough Council.
  • The site lies within the Molesey and Hersham Biodiversity Opportunity Area.
  • It’s an ex-landfill site.
  • There is an underground aviation fuel pipeline running north to south dissecting the site requiring a 5 metre exclusion zone to either side of it.

The application is open for comments until the 27th of September with a target for decision set for the 6th of December.


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Brief overview of the Heathside School application

The ground floor will typically accommodate the practical spaces, school admin and the sports, drama and main hall. The first floor accommodates the teaching and learning spaces and also the library. The second floor accommodates further general teaching and learning spaces and science laboratories.

At capacity Heathside Walton will accommodate 900 pupils but during its opening year only Year 7 pupils (11 year olds) will attend the school. It will be fully operational by the 2025/26 academic year.

Rear Elevation of Heathside Elmbridge School 3D Model

Overhead view of entire site

Proposed Site Layout with Key

1. Playing Field – This area occupies the full width of the Site with rugby facilities to the east, cricket and athletics within the centre and football and rounders facilities to the west.

2. Sports Courts – The outdoor multi-use games areas (MUGA) are located to the west of the sports hall and provide for: netball, tennis, hockey, and 5-a-side football.

3. Car park – The car park will be constructed using permeable paving, with 7 car parking spaces for visitors; 67 car parking spaces for staff (including 9 electrical charging bays); 4 disabled parking spaces, 2 minibus parking spaces; and 3 motorbike parking spaces.

4. Main Entrance Plaza – This visitor and staff entrance will be the focal point for visitors. The school signage will give the building a civic presence. There will be 10 covered cycle parking spaces for use by visitor and staff.

5. Pupil Entrance Plaza – This will house the pupil bicycle store and will be accessible at peak times under the supervision of on-site staff. The entrance will be locked during off peak times to ensure the security of pupil bikes and prevent unauthorised access into the main school building. There will be 136 covered cycle spaces for pupils.

6. Sports Plaza – This is located to the northern end of the sports hall, providing space for external sports tables such as table tennis and open spaces for small group activities and space for external lessons and informal recreation.

7. Outdoor Dining and Social Plaza – This area is located adjacent to the dining area on the northern side of the building and will also serve as an outdoor learning, socialising and play area.

8. Amphitheatres – The sports amphitheatre will consist spectator seating for cricket matches and athletics. The amphitheatre plaza will comprise of an open playground and performance space that is overlooked by a tiered semi-circular bench seats, providing opportunities for formal performances, additional teaching space, or informal recreation.

9. Quiet Seating Areas – These are located at the eastern end of the school building and consist of a series of smaller seating opportunities to offer quieter areas for pupils or staff to escape from busy school playgrounds. These spaces can also double as small-group teaching or revision areas.

10. Pond and Nature Area – This area will include an informal arrangement of benches that will provide supervised learning space for pupils. The fenced-off pond will comprise aquatic plants, wildflower areas, and habitat boxes to encourage wildlife into the Site.

11. Green Roofs – These will be provided on the school roofs to encourage a greater biodiversity, especially for insect and bird species, whilst helping to reduce surface water run-off from the building.

12. Wildflower and Swale Areas – This area will consist of a shallow ditch that gently slopes for drainage purposes. Wildflower meadows may be included on the green roof above the dining area as there is easy access for maintenance.

Detailed Maps and Plans

There are an abundance of Plans and Supporting Documents to be found on planning application 2019/2157 including:

38 Plans, Layouts and Elevations

88 Supporting Documents covering:

  • Arboricultural Survey
  • Bat Report
  • Biodiversity Report
  • Design and Access Statements
  • Environmental Statements
  • Flood Risk Assessment
  • Ground Investigation Report
  • Transport Assessment
  • Travel Plan
  • And many more…

You can view a couple of the more interesting ones here:

Heathside School Elevations

Heathside School Master Plan

Heathside School Site Plan

Heathside School Energy Strategy Report

As previously mentioned the application is open for comments until the 27th of September with a target for decision set for the 6th of December.

To date there are 26 Public Comments in Support and 11 Objections.

2019/2157 – Land West Of Rivernook And Northeast Of, Waterside Drive, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

June 2019 – Public Exhibition Notice – 6th June 15:00 to 19:30

When & Where

Please drop in at any time between 15:00 and 19:30


Multi Function Room,
Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub,
Walton-on-Thames, KT12 2JP

Date and Time

Thursday 6th June 2019
3:00pm – 7:30pm

There will be short speeches from invited guests starting at 3:30pm.

Contact and Registering Your Support

We have already received significant support for the new school from the Local Community. On our current schedule, the school will take in its first group of pupils in the autumn of 2021 (those entering Year 5 in September 2019).

This registration of support is important as it will demonstrate and provide evidence of backing for the school prior to submitting a planning application.

Please register your support on our website – www.heathsidewalton.org.

Once registered, you will receive regular updates on the school, as the proposal progresses.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or feedback on the proposed new school or the public exhibition event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

+44 (0) 20 8629 7207
Heathside Walton Consultation
57 Southwark St, London, SE1 1RU

Key Information on Heathside, Walton-on-Thames

Key aspects of the Proposed School

Our new school will be mixed, 11-16 (6fE), non-faith and non-selective. We plan to admit 150 pupils in September 2021 into Year 7, rising to 180 per year; giving a number on roll of 900 pupils when full.

Why is a new school needed?

There is a growing need for secondary school places in Elmbridge and in particular the Walton-on-Thames and Molesey areas.

Enhance Choice and Quality

A new school will give parents a greater choice of secondary education; the high standards we seek to achieve will strengthen the quality of provision in Walton-on-Thames and Molesey.

What is a ‘Free School’?

Free Schools are state funded independent schools that are not under the control of the Local Education Authority, Surrey County Council (SCC). The first were set up in 2011 and there are now over 300 across the country, including over 120 secondary Free Schools.

About ElmWey Learning Trust

The bid to open the new school was made by ElmWey Learning Trust, who run the reputable Heathside Weybridge School.

Owing to ElmWey’s positive track record in Elmbridge, this new ElmWey run school has the support of SCC. The new school will have strong links and a supportive relationship with Heathside Weybridge, which also has a 6th Form rated “Good” by Ofsted. Pupils wishing to continue into further education will gain entry into the 6th Form at Heathside Weybridge, subject to meeting entry requirements.

Admissions and Catchment Area

While the school does not yet have a set catchment area, we have located the school so it can serve the Walton-on-Thames and Molesey communities, where the shortage of school places is most acute. On our current schedule, the school will admit its first Year 7 cohort in autumn 2021, (those entering Year 5 in September 2019).

Contact Information

If you have any questions or feedback on the proposed new school or the public exhibition event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

+44 (0) 20 8629 7207
Heathside Walton Consultation
57 Southwark St, London, SE1 1RU

March 2019 – Revised opening date of Heathside Walton School

The Department for Education has revised the realistic opening date for the new Heathside Walton-on-Thames School (“Heathside Walton”) to September 2021, subject to planning permission being obtained.

While ElmWey Learning Trust, who will operate the new school, had initially hoped that Heathside Walton would open in 2020, opening in September 2021 corresponds with the latest pupil number data from Surrey County Council, on when a new secondary school is required in Elmbridge.

Additionally, there has been a delay in accessing the site which has resulted in the planning application being submitted later than initially anticipated.

ElmWey Learning Trust and the team behind Heathside Walton will continue to work closely with the local community, Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey County Council and other stakeholders to bring about the opening of the school in time for the first Year 7 pupils to start in 2021.

About Heathside Walton

Heathside Walton is a proposed new Free School to be run by ElmWey Learning Trust who currently operate Heathside School in Weybridge. Heathside School in Weybridge was rated “Good” by OFSTED at its last inspection in March 2018. ElmWey Learning Trust is seeking to replicate its educational ethos, standards and achievements at the new school in Walton-on-Thames.

Heathside Walton will have a mixed intake of children aged 11 to 16 and will be a non-faith, non-selective school. The school will ultimately have a pupil roll of 900 pupils with the school admitting 150 Year 7 pupils in its first year, rising to a total of 180 new pupils for each Year 7 intake thereafter.

Heathside Walton – The School

The school will be run by the ElmWey Learning Trust, which also operates the highly successful Heathside School Weybridge, a mixed 11-18 secondary school.

Free Schools are independent, state funded schools. The first Free School opened in 2011. As of January 2018 there are 475 Free Schools operating across England. Of the Free Schools inspected by Ofsted by the end of October 2017, 84% are rated either ‘Good’ or Outstanding’, with 30% rated ‘Outstanding’.

The proposal is being brought forward by the Department for Education (DfE), alongside its appointed professional team and with support from Surrey County Council (SCC).

ElmWey’s bid to open a Free School was submitted in the spring of 2016 and the Government announced the approval of the bid in summer 2016. The free school will help meet the severe basic need for additional secondary places in Walton-on-Thames and Molesey.

  • 900 pupils across 6 academic year groups
  • 150 pupils per year in the school’s first year of operation, then rising to 180 pupils per year
  • No faith denomination
  • Replicating the successful ethos at Heathside School Weybridge, which was rated as “Good”
    in its recent Ofsted Inspection (March 2018)
  • Will assist in meeting the areas severe basic need for secondary school places

ElmWey Learning Trust seeks to replicate the educational standards and ethos of Heathside School Weybridge at the new Free School and it is proposed there will be close and supportive links between both schools.

Naming the new school Heathside Walton-on-Thames encapsulates both our aims and ongoing support for the new school.

Establishing exemplary standards and positive ‘behaviour for learning’ are seen as key factors in the success of the new school.

The curriculum at Heathside Walton-on-Thames will be tailored to meet the needs of all the students. While the core subjects will offer academic rigour, the curriculum will remain broad and balanced allowing students to also take creative and vocational pathways.

For core subjects there will be a standard class size of between 28 and 30 pupils. For design and technology this will be no more than 24 pupils. Some optional subjects at Key Stage 4 will be between 15 and 25 pupils.

There will be one teacher per lesson, with a teaching assistant in approximately 30% of lessons.

The common timetable for year groups is based around:

  • 08:30 – 15:00 core day
  • 15:00 – 16:00 extended day activities for 25% of cohort
  • 6 x 50-minute periods per day, five days per week
  • Common morning breaks for all students: 30 minutes
  • Common lunch break for all students: 50 minutes

Pupils will be given the opportunity to opt for 2 out of 4 one hour after school extra-curricular sessions offered Monday to Thursday.

There will be a choice from:

  • Academic Study and Support
  • Exercise, Sport and Healthy Living
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Life and Community Skills

The Proposed Site

The proposed site for the new school is located on Waterside Drive, just off Terrace Road A3050.

The proposed site extends to 12.93 acres and is located 0.8 miles north-east of Walton-on-Thames Town centre. The entirety of the site sits within the Borough of Elmbridge and SCC have a freehold interest in the land.

The site is currently in pastoral farming use.

The Main School Building

The new campus is designed to respond to the site constraints, generate strong school identity and provide community facilities of which everyone can be proud of.

The main school building is positioned to optimise the outdoor amenity space whilst minimising the buildings impact on the surrounding area. There is a separate entrance plaza area for staff/visitor/public use, and student entry is positioned to the west to respond to the major direction of approach along Waterside Drive.

The whole school is contained within a single building and set across three floors.

The internal entrance points in the building are located to create focal points or ‘knuckles’ from which everyone can intuitively circulate around the building.

On the ground floor the building is principally split into two sections, with facilities to the north which will be used by pupils and the community, and to the south, teaching and learning space accessed only by pupils. The main pupil entrance has a ‘hub’ of key facilities which is repeated on all floors to include pastoral support, SEN areas and WCs.

The design promotes permeability, with routes and views through the building to the spaces beyond.

Community use is a strong design consideration with significant areas available for community activities and third-party hire. The external Multi Use Games-Use Areas (MUGA), sports hall, dining area, main hall and the library are designed to be available for community access.

Getting There

Walking and Cycling

The school, although not located in a dense residential area, has excellent walking and cycling routes and it is estimated that the majority of pupils will arrive by these modes of transport. Heathside Weybridge has an excellent record of facilitating and encouraging pupils to cycle with over 13% doing so.

The new school will provide covered cycle parking above the Surrey County Council and Transport for London standards with 160 spaces for pupils, staff and visitors. Within the building there will be changing and shower areas and storage for cycle equipment.

There are existing off-road cycle routes along both sides of Waterside Drive and along the River Thames and Terrace Road. The footways on Waterside Drive are wide and a new formal pedestrian crossing near the school entrance is proposed as part of the application.

Public Transport

A new double length bus stop is proposed adjacent to the school frontage. At present there is one bus service (Route 564) that serves Waterside Drive. This route is local and while discussions are in place regarding changes to its timetable and frequency, pupils living on the bus route would be more likely to walk or cycle.

There is a further bus route stop at Cottimore Lane which is less than 15 minutes’ walk from the proposed school. These routes capture the expected pupil catchment within Molesey and Walton.

Discussions with SCC Public Transport and local bus operators are taking place to establish if improvements to bus frequencies and routes are possible.

Roads and Parking

Waterside Drive will be designed with road features to create a safe street frontage for the school. Parking and stopping restrictions are planned near the entrances and a new, formal pedestrian crossing will be included.

Away from the school frontage and new pedestrian crossing, unrestricted on-street parking will remain, but the focus is on enhancing Waterside Drive to be a safe place for pupils to walk, cycle and travel by bus.

The timings of the school day have been planned to be at least 15 minutes apart from the nearby Grovelands Primary School.

Who are the ‘ElmWay Learning Trust’?

And do they have any local schools in operation?

ElmWey Learning Trust was incorporated in June 2015 as a MultiAcademy Trust and runs Heathside School Weybridge.
The Trust’s vision is ‘To create a family of local schools committed to
excellence, continuous improvement and innovation in all we do’.

Heathside School – Weybridge

Heathside School Weybridge converted to an Academy in 2015 and its academic results rank it with top-performing comprehensives nationally.

In 2017, from a non-selective intake, 87% of students got 4-9 in both Maths and English, with 39% of all GCSEs at A*-A grade (7-9).

At A-level, 56% of the grades were A*-B and 24% A*-A. These results placed the school in the top 25% nationally at both GCSE and A level.
The governance practices of the Trust have been designated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and these practices will be utilised in the
new school.

The Trust’s ambition is to replicate the success of the Weybridge school, in Walton-on-Thames.

More Information

For further information, please contact Duncan Flynn at Cratus Communications by email on dflynn@cratus.co.uk or by calling 020 8629 7208.

Further information on Heathside Walton is available at https://www.heathsidewalton.org/


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