05:00PM, Saturday 10 March 2018
Plans for an expanded school campus off Cannon Lane were opposed unanimously by parish councillors last week.
The proposed £36m Claires Court School development would see its girls and sixth form complex and senior boys facility brought together onto greenbelt land near its existing junior boys building, off Cannon Lane.
Plans for 157 houses on the land, as well as two new artificial grass hockey pitches, two artificial grass practice areas, and a new pavilion, were also opposed.
Members of Cox Green Parish Council’s planning committee voted to recommend the Royal Borough reject the plans at their meeting at the Cox Green Community Centre in Highfield Lane on Wednesday, February 28.
The clerk, Stephen Hedges, reminded councillors they had to be satisfied ‘special circumstances’ for building on the greenbelt existed.
The committee’s chairwoman, Cllr Vicky Howes, said the application had ‘not demonstrated special circumstances’.
It followed an extended public questions segment at the start of the meeting, where concerned residents highlighted issues, such as the impact the expansion would have on traffic, sewage and water supply networks and other infrastructure.
The greenbelt remained a key concern for the speakers, which included Phil Haseler, one of the creators of the Cox Green Says No campaign group opposing the plans.
Additionally, a document drawn up by the council states: “It is recognised that the proposals include various traffic and transportation measures to address the resultant increase in traffic flows to and from the site and that some benefits could be realised from these measures.
“However, these are greatly reduced by the potential impacts resulting from the proposals and therefore have minimal mitigation.”
It adds: “The proposals would impact upon the existing infrastructure of the locality including water, sewerage, healthcare and school places.
“As such without adequate mitigation to address this, the proposals would be detrimental to the residential amenity of the existing
community and fail to provide for the proposed community addition.”
The plans will now go to the Royal Borough. A decision deadline is yet to be set.
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