The Daily Mail has published an article claiming that the proposed Sevenoaks Annex is being blocked because of legal issues.
The article asserts that the legal problems are such that, even if the Secretary of State were to approve the scheme, it would be overturned by a legal challenge in the courts. Fear of a Judicial Review was likely to put a stop to the proposal going ahead.
The current scheme is the fourth to be proposed since the satellite grammar school was first proposed three and a half years ago, planning permission for the new annex has been granted, and builders are waiting to move in. Meanwhile on the same site, the new buildings for the Trinity Free School are already in progress.
The article gives no clue as to what the legal obstacles might be and, whilst they were evident in each of the three previous schemes, it is harder to see what is now suggested to be blocking the proposal.
Whatever, we are left wondering if this is just another of the myriad of rumours that have swirled around this project from the start, as confirmed by any internet search for "Sevenoaks Annex". In particular (updating five days after the original Daily Mail article) it is curious that no other media outlet has picked up the story, or is it just they have been burned before....
I have also written a number of previous articles on the progress or lack of it with the scheme and the whole story can be tracked back from the latest of these, or by inserting "Sevenoaks" in the website search engine.
If this claim is correct, then the only way forward would be a change in the law to allow the scheme through, presumably along with other similar projects that have been put forward in recent years. However such legislation would not be popular with all quarters of the Conservative party, and so inevitably there will be lengthy further delays whilst this proposal, not in the government's legislative programme at present, were prepared.
Meanwhile pressure continues to grow on grammar school places across West and North West Kent, so this would be a matter of serious concern to the Council and many parents at a time when KCC envisages the need for 20 new secondary schools being built in the county in the next few years - the subject of a future article.