The Planning Officers Society welcomes the abandonment of the proposed changes to the Use Classes Order to allow any building to be changed into a school. The originally intended change would have been not only to the detriment of the amenity of local communities and the environment but would not have benefitted school users.
A planning statement, published recently by communities secretary Eric Pickles, is intended to ensure that councils use their planning powers to support applications to create free schools - state-funded schools which can be set up by parents, teachers or other groups.
John Silvester, Society Spokesperson, said "we welcome the proposed policy as it reflects that of local planning authorities, so it's in effect an endorsement of the good performance of local government in this area."
POS supports the objective to facilitate school development and encourages well designed and located schemes in keeping with the principles of sustainable development.