A SURREY Heath councillor is angry that planning permission has been granted for a Camberley private school to move to the former Burrow Hill School.

Labour member Pam Loyal refused to take part in the development control committee's debate as she feels Disability Challenge, which lost out to Clewborough House School for the site, was treated "shabbily".

The school can now move from Clewborough Drive in Camberley to St Catherine's Road in Frimley, and spend £3million refurbishing Burrow Hill (pictured).

Set in 15 acres of woodland with views over the Surrey countryside, it was the school of 20 boys until it closed in 1998.

Cllr Loyal still backs Guildford-based Disability Challenge, which provides respite care and leisure for the disabled, and hopes it finds a Surrey Heath site.

She said: "The Burrow Hill site would have been ideal for Disability Challenge.

"I don't see why the school needed to buy the site as they were already situated in Camberley.

"It is such a shame that Disability Challenge didn't get that site as it's something that is really needed in this area."

Burrow Hill was sold to Clewborough House last April after Disability Challenge had negotiated with owner Wandsworth Council for two years to buy the site.

It wanted to build a centre for disabled children in Surrey providing respite care, leisure activities and space for Mytchett's expanding Jigsaw School for autistic children.

Cllr Loyal claimed Disability Challenge was gazumped by Clewborough House: "They are a charitable organisation who were supported by other organisations like Mencap, Scope, social services, the Jigsaw Trust and many more.

"I felt so strongly about this matter that I refused to participate in the planning application."

Clewborough head Sarah Streete was "delighted" the council had granted planning permission as this meant the school could begin several major projects.

It was already clearing the grounds and starting internal refurbishment.

She said: "The new site gives the school the opportunity to expand and offers our children an even greater range of facilities than they had previously."

She said parents were worried by phone masts on the new site but Vodafone, Orange and One-2-One all aimed to move.

She added: "We are all looking forward to moving to our new home in September and embarking on what promises to be a very exciting future for all the staff and children at Clewborough."

Donald Clarke, Clewborough's founder principal, said: "We have moved from our original site to this new site because we have simply outgrown it.

"When we first started as a school years ago we didn't need a large space but now we do.

"We have moved from a 2.25-acre site to a 15-acre site. We want to continue as a school and with the new site we can continue to provide a good education for many pupils."