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Scots College’s appeal dismissed by court

Source: Wikipedia

By PETA GILBERT

Bellevue Hill residents group Concerned Scots Neighbours has raised the prospect of legal action against Scots College, following a decision by the NSW Land and Environment Court last week.

Last week, Scots College’s appeal to increase its student cap by 30 per cent was dismissed by the court, after the court found it did not have jurisdiction to handle the appeal.

Commissioner Susan Dixon said even if the court did have the jurisdiction to decide on the student cap, the appeal would have been dismissed due to parking and traffic concerns.

“Even if I did have jurisdiction, based on the traffic and parking evidence before me, I am unable to be satisfied that the proposed increase in student numbers would not have unacceptable impacts on traffic and parking in the vicinity of the school,” the Commissioner said.

The school was seeking an increase from 1120 to 1470 students, although residents argue the school is already over 1400.

Spokesperson for the residents group, Paul Blanket said the decision pleased local residents in the area who believe the school has been concealing its student numbers for years.

“We are very happy with the outcome, we are just waiting for our legal opinion to come back and then we will make a decision about where we go from here.”

Fairfax Media reported that the legal action the group may pursue is in relation to whether Scots is already in breach of its existing student cap.

The group of 250 Bellevue Hill residents has been working towards resolving the problem for three and a half years, after finding discrepancies between enrolments and actual student numbers on the campus.

“We only want one single thing…all we want is the traffic and parking problems solved,” Mr Blanket said.

Woollahra Mayor Toni Zeltzer welcomed the court’s decision.

“We have been concerned about the safety of children in circumstances where the college has increased student numbers without making provision for appropriate drop off and pick up and without adequate provision for off-street parking,” she said in a statement.

A statement from Scots said the judgement was “disappointing”.

“The document is lengthy and the college will consider it carefully and in full before making any further decisions.”

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