Rydens School & Residential Dwellings

18.09.2015  Latest Planning Update

The reserved matters application for 296 residential dwellings at Rydens School is currently being considered by Elmbridge Borough Council.  The principle of the number of houses and siting of the vehicular access has already been approved by the Council as part of an earlier outline planning application.  The dwellings were approved as enabling development to fund the new Rydens School building.  The current application seeks approval of the proposed appearance, layout, landscaping and scale of the housing development.

The proposal by Bewley Homes Ltd contains a mix of 1 and 2 bed apartments and 3 and 4 bed houses.  43% of the dwellings (128) will be affordable housing.  The development rises up to 4 storeys in height and has been designed in ‘a traditional vernacular style’.  The images below show the style, layout and massing of the proposal.

Rydens School Proposed Site Layout:


Rydens School Proposed Site Elevations:

Rydens School Proposed Site Sections:

The formal public consultation period for this application closed on the 15/09/15, however representations are normally accepted and taken into consideration up until the Council make their formal decision.  The Council’s target date for this application is the 18/11/15, so there is still time to submit your comments to the Council.

To submit your comments, click here

and click on the yellow speech bubble where it says ‘comment on this application’.

22.06.2015   Planning Update #5

According to the Council’s website, the planning application will now be going before the 6th July planning committee at Elmbridge Borough Council, along with the Lidl and Sports Hub applications.   It is presumed that the case officer has recommended the application for approval (otherwise it would just have been refused). Once the officer’s report has been published (generally a week before the committee date) we will provide a link.

Should you wish to speak at the planning committee, you need to register your wish to speak by telephoning 01372 474474. You must do this at least 4 ½ working days prior to the meeting.

18.03.2015   Planning Update #4

As promised, here is a summary of the detailed application for the new school. As mentioned previously, the detailed application for the residential part of the Rydens School development has not yet been submitted to Elmbridge. I will be keeping an eye out for this.

New school:

  • Siting/ Access – The new school building and car parking area will sit directly to the North of Bell Farm Junior School. All facilities will be provided in a single long building. The main ‘Entrance Plaza’ will front onto the new residential part of the development and not on to any existing public highway.

The only way to access the new school by car will be through the new residential development via a new shared access from Hersham Road. There will be a secondary access to the residential part of the development from Felcott Road, however this is meant for emergency vehicles and for use of a limited number of the new houses.

There is a loading bay directly opposite the main kitchen in the car parking area which should allow larger vehicles to enter and leave the site in forward gear.

From the plans it looks as if the existing pedestrian access from Rydens Grove will kept. It will now lead directly to the new car park.

  • Design – The architects describe the design concept as almost like an animal or ‘visceral arrangement’, with a head (6th Form + Library), body (Specialist teaching spine and Mall) and tail (Sports/ Drama). It has lateral elements (Houses) that ‘spring from the body like 4 separate limbs.’

Rydens img1_med

The entrance to the school (from the proposed Plaza) is marked by angular forms and double height spaces. The materials proposed will give the building a very contemporary appearance, with aluminium cladding, coloured panels and light grey and dark grey panels.

Rydens img2_med

Internal Facilities include the following:

  • 8 Court Sports Hall;
  • Studio Theatre;
  • Science Labs/ Prep Area;
  • Music Department with practice rooms, recital areas and recording studio;
  • 2 x Food Tech rooms
  • Computer Training Centre;
  • Graphic Studio/ CAD/ CAM & MAC Studio;
  • Technology Workshop;
  • Woodwork area/ Metalwork areas;
  • Textile workshop areas;
  • 6th Form Dining/ Study area with access to roof terrace;
  • Art Rooms (with dedicate 6th form art room);
  • Library
  • Assembly Hall
  • Classrooms, seminar rooms, media rooms, science theory rooms, sports theory room;
  • Drama workshop;
  • Dance Studio/ Gymnasium/ Fitness Studio


Outdoor Facilities

  • The retained grounds of the school stretch from the Northern boundary of Bell Farm School up to the railway line at the north-west corner.
  •  The external sports facilities proposed include a number of football pitches, rugby pitch, cricket pitch and a multi-use games pitch.
  • There is an amphitheatre proposed facing the playing fields with tiered seating area for performances and events.
  • Courtyard areas are proposed along the Southern boundary of the school for pupils to socialise.
  • Meadows will be grown on parts of the grounds not required for sports.
  • Parking – The parking area provides an increase in staff parking to take account of the larger number of staff. There is very limited parking for visitors and a drop off point for parents. A large cycle storage area is proposed.


rydens_forumPlanning Update #3 07.03.2015

The detailed planning application for the new Rydens School has just been submitted to the Council. This provides details of proposed appearance, landscaping, layout & scale following the recent outline planning permission.

I have spoken to the case officer and there are pre-application discussions ongoing regarding the residential part of the application. I’ll keep monitoring this and let you know when an application is formally submitted for this part.

We expect full public access to the application documents to be made available soon, as soon as this happens we will provide a full summary. Until then, here is a visual of the proposed new school.


The public consultation is running until the 27th March 2015. Comments can be made on the Council’s website here

Just click on ‘Comment on this application’


Planning Update #2 11.02.2015

This outline application has now been formally approved by the Council. According to the Council’s website the formal planning decision notice has been issued. Once this is made available I will advise on the next stage. Detailed applications will need to be submitted for the school element and the housing development. There will further opportunity for public consultation.


Planning Update #1 06.02.2015

The Secretary of State has declined to call in this application for determination.

This leaves the Council free to issue outline planning permission for 296 residential dwellings and replacement secondary school and sixth-form college. The Council are currently finalising the terms of the Section 106 agreement (a legal document outlining the conditions of the planning permission) which should be completed by the end of this week. The formal decision notice will then be issued.

Next Stage
Detailed ‘Reserved Matters’ applications will now need to be submitted for both school and residential parts of the development before it can proceed.
I have discussed the timeframe for this with the case officer. The school element of the scheme is fairly well developed and the detailed application for this is expected fairly soon. Quite a bit of work will be needed on the residential part of the development, therefore this is expected to follow at a much later date.
Further public consultation will be undertaken on the detailed applications. I will monitor this and let you know when the detailed scheme is available to view and where to make further comments.
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