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Chalfont St Peter's Holy Cross redevelopment plans backed by Cheryl Gillan MP
PLANS to keep the former Holy Cross Convent in Chalfont St Peter as a school as part of plans to redevelop the village have been welcomed by MP Cheryl Gillan.
The Chalfont St Peter C of E Academy hopes to move in to the old convent school despite planning permission being given to turn it into nearly 200 new homes.
Alternative plans to redevelop the centre of the village have been put forward and they were discussed at a forum held at the school, in Penn Road, on Friday.
At the forum Mrs Gillan met parish councillors, school staff and a representative from Arrowcroft Holdings, the company behind the proposals.
She said afterwards: "I was glad to have the opportunity to have an update on the proposals from Arrowcroft that have been welcomed by the Parish Council and so many residents.
"It is important that neighbourhoods have a very strong say in any development of their area and that any plan is sustainable and adds value with new amenities such as educational institutions and much-needed housing.
"I have asked all those attending the meeting to continue to keep me informed about progress and I look forward to seeing a positive outcome for this important area of the village.
"We have a perfect example of localism in action here. I will do my utmost to encourage everyone to work together to bring about a positive outcome, which I hope will carry good things forward."
As well as moving the school from Penn Road to the convent, Arrowcroft's masterplan would also create more homes, a new supermarket and improved access roads and cyclepaths.
The scheme was proposed after controversial plans to convert the Convent - which closed in 2006 - into houses and a care home were passed by Chiltern District Council two years ago.
That has been opposed by Chalfont St Peter Parish Council and is subject to a Judicial Review - which will be heard at London's High Court on April 17 and 18 next year, it was confirmed at the end of last week.
Chairman John Hatton said: "This situation is just what we need to create an opportunity for all parties concerned - the site owner, the residents of Chalfont St Peter, the district and parish councils and the developers - to work out a solution which is acceptable to all of them. If all parties are willing to be open minded, then a plan that satisfies them all should be achievable."