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Stone Valley and Dartford Valley Rugby Club get opening dates

By Daniel Green

A school and sport facility have been scheduled to open over the next three years.

Dartford council confirmed at their latest Cabinet meeting that a school at Stone is due to open in September 2020 while Dartford Valley Rugby Club should be ready to use by the end of 2018.

The 1,500-pupil eight form entry secondary school, which will eventually see eight classes of pupils start each year, was originally proposed for 16.6 acres of the Stone Lodge site but the application was reduced to just under eight acres.

The site for development
The site for development

Stone Lodge is a 79-acre site in Cotton Lane, Dartford, owned by Dartford council and formerly occupied by Stone House Hospital.

Last December, Dartford councillors agreed to sell off part of the site to the Department of Communities and Local Government so a school could be built.

Leader of Dartford council, Jeremy Kite (Con), said: “We have to trust those who build schools that they are building the right one for the area.

“It’s been a long, drawn out process but I’m really pleased. There were two commitments we made to the community of Stone and we kept them both.

“The first was that we were content on delivering a school there and we need to make clear of course there were other opportunities for that land.

“I suspect there are other councils that would build a lot of homes on there.

“I think we made a very good commitment to the community that first of all we were going to try and secure a school and secondly we were going to limit the built environment — which wasn’t to do with recreation and public service — to 25%, and we kept both of those.

“We could have built a lot of homes on it but that would have been the entirely wrong thing to do. I think we exercised great responsibility over the years.

“I suspect the residents of Stone will be mighty relieved. They are going to get themselves a new school and community sport facilities.”

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