04:29AM, Thursday 16 February 2012
Plans to install two temporary classrooms at Oldfield School have been given the nod.
Last night it was agreed to put a modular block on the Chiltern Road site to cope with an expansion in pupil numbers.
In December the Royal Borough approved proposals to double the school in size by 2018 by taking on 30 extra reception pupils each September.
Long term plans to permanently expand the school by 2014 are being drawn up and are due to be discussed by cabinet next month.
The application for the temporary classrooms was made as an interim solution.
Neighbours of the school had objected saying it was a 'band aid fix' and would cause traffic chaos and disruption.
Householder Sarah Yorke spoke at the meeting urging members of the Maidenhead development control panel to rethink the plans. Although separated by a fence, the classrooms will be just one metre from her property and clearly visible from her first floor lounge and balcony.
She said: "The impact it will have on my privacy and the noise will be huge."
Panel chairman Councillor Derek Wilson and cabinet member Cllr Simon Dudley both declared a personal and prejudicial interest in the application. They each put forward their views but then had to leave the chamber for the panel discussions and vote.
Cllr Wilson agreed with Mrs Yorke that the location should be altered to place the classrooms further away from people's homes.
He said: "I called this in because was concerned about it being right next to a home in The Rushes. I felt there could be a better alternative."
Officers said any other location would mean blocking entrances to the existing buildings or the loss of play and sports areas.
Cllr Dudley said: "I have a lot of sympathy for residents for the disruption there will be but it is only temporary.
"Difficult choices have to be made and I think this is the best option we have to expand the school. I'm reluctantly supporting the application and looking at the big picture."
Panel members agreed with him and unanimously agreed to give the plans permission.
Cllr Andrew Jenner said: "I can't see that we can move them much further away from residents without detriment to the school."
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