Planning Success for New School Building in the Surrey Green Belt
Date of Article
Jul 21 2015

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21 July 2015, The Planning and Development team in London has recently been involved in a successful planning application for the demolition of existing school buildings and replacement of a new Lower School building with specialist teaching rooms, a new auditorium and additional car parking spaces in the Surrey Green Belt. Carter Jonas supported HSSP Architects in the planning process for the new building at Hazelwood School in Oxted, Surrey.

The existing buildings on the site were built in the 1970s, were in a poor state of repair and were in need of replacement. The existing blocks comprised 7 classrooms in two separate one storey buildings, which had a total footprint of just under 400 sqm GEA. The new Lower School facility is a three storey building which provides Hazelwood School with a new building of circa 1,800 sqm GEA, including 14 new classrooms and a new school auditorium. This represents a significant uplift in floorspace, given the Green Belt location and will provide a modern facility to secure a long term sustainable future for the School.


Given the sensitivities surrounding the Green Belt location, the proposal has been carefully considered in relation to the existing topography, the adjacent Victorian original school building and the maintenance of existing mature screening from trees and woodland vegetation around the perimeter of the site.

Alister Henderson led the Carter Jonas team, which undertook detailed pre-application discussions with Tandridge District Council in order to ensure the smooth passageway for the planning application. The planning case was carefully crafted to ensure that the school was able to demonstrate a “Very Special Circumstances” case for a development that is technically deemed to be ‘inappropriate development’ in the Green Belt.

Hazelwood School will start construction over the summer of 2015, with the aim of the new school building being operational for the start of the 2016/17 school year.