Sidmouth schools plans approved despite opposition

17:30 18 April 2014

Archant

Opposition from neighbouring residents did not prevent development chiefs approving a much-needed new classroom at Sidmouth Primary School.

The school applied to replace a single classroom with a newer, larger pre-fabricated unit to increase capacity at its Woolbrook Road site.

But detractors said the town’s wider infrastructure should be assessed and a long-term solution found to improve congestion problems on the main road.

Writing to East Devon District Council (EDDC) website, Mr and Mrs Velterop said: “In the long run it would be much better for the school to be allocated to safer and bigger premises away from a main road leading into town.

“At the moment the drop off and pick up times cause a lot of congestion and dangerous situations in Woolbrook Road and adjacent areas.”

Mrs E Hopcroft, who lives next to the school, wrote to say the noise from the school was likely to grow as pupil numbers do, and requested another playing area to alleviate the issue.

Elaine Harper, the property manager for the adjacent Farrant Court, said concerns had been raised about the potential for damaged pipes and drains in the area, and also about a possible visual impact for the residents.

District councillor Frances Newth said she would fully support the application as the new classroom provides greater capacity on the school’s existing footprint.

The plans were also backed by Sidmouth Town Council, although members said they would prefer to see a permanent building.

In making their decision, EDDC officers said they did not believe the classroom would create any further noise issues and the topography means the new roof should not result in the loss of amenity to the neighbouring properties.

They approved the plans.

The site currently has room for 340 pupils. The new classroom would create space for another 30. It is currently in use in Newton Abbot and is set to be relocated next summer.

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