Major plans to extend Chesham Grammar School were given the green-light by councillors this morning after a three-minute discussion.

Proposals to transform the school’s music, maths and English blocks, extend the main entrance and redesign the entire courtyard were presented to Bucks County Council’s (BCC) development control committee today (May 14).

The plans were hauled in front of the committee for scrutiny amid fears from residents the development would see an increase in the number of pupils admitted to the school in White Hill and impact parking in the area.

However committee chief, councillor Netta Glover, branded the call in a “complete waste of money” after it was confirmed there is no plan to increase admission numbers, so parking would not be affected.

The application received seven objections – prompting Cllr Janet Blake to question why the application was called in for discussion based on the “relatively low number” of negative comments.

However planning enforcement officer, Olivia Stapleford, confirmed that if objections are made to a development the plans cannot be signed off without committee approval.

The confusion prompted calls for BCC’s planning department to revise the rules so plans with few objections can be approved under “delegated powers” – without committee debate.

Ms Stapleford said: “It just has to be an objection pure and simple. [The rule] has to be revised, we have to look at this so it doesn’t keep happening.

“If you read the scheme of delegation as it is laid out currently, any objections to the county council development means it has to come to committee.”

Cllr Glover added: “At least the residents know we have listened to them and their concerns have been taken seriously so that’s the best we can draw from this. [The call in] sounds like a complete waste of money.”

The meeting was closed to the public after just nine minutes.

The BCC-commissioned application aims to improve the flow of movement throughout the site and improve “safeguarding issues” faced by staff due to the close proximity of the entrance to the neighbouring leisure centre.

Plans also include improved outdoor seating and more toilet provision for pupils.

To view the application visit: