If the backers of the two free schools planned for the Rokeby area had any doubts about the resistance they face, that was removed at a public exhibition last week.
The overwhelming majority of those attending the event at Rokeby Primary last Wednesday were against the plans which will be put forward in the first instance as an outline planning application.
This will be the key time for Rokeby’s opposition to be heard, for if the outline permission is given the schools are pretty much home and dry.
That means the level of detail many residents wanted to see will not be revealed until the subsequent detailed planning application goes in - but in planning terms, the key decision will have been taken.
There was also confusion about whether feedback was wanted and whether it would be considered before the outline application, which was described in the exhibition as being due in ‘autumn’ - and which some members of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) suggested could be as soon as the end of this week.
The Advertiser pursued this with the EFA and got the following response: “Since the exhibition, the team has had time to reflect and review the consultation and will be sending out a letter to members of the community further clarifying the process for the pre-application consultation. The project team will also prepare further information reinforcing the previously provided detail on how the site for the proposed schools was selected and how it will help to meet the need for school places in Rugby.
“The project team will continue to welcome feedback until October 9 and will spend a few weeks considering the comments received. The outline planning application will be submitted no earlier than October 21, 2016. Information from the exhibition will also be uploaded to the Rugby Free Secondary School and MacIntyre Academies Trust websites. We are also happy to post the information to those that require it.”