Gayton villagers vent feelings at new school scheme

Residents of Gayton who are upset at the proposed relocation of Gayton School ANL-160124-142950009

Residents of Gayton who are upset at the proposed relocation of Gayton School ANL-160124-142950009

An extraordinary meeting of Gayton Parish Council decided on Monday to lodge a series of concerns about the proposed new school for the village.

The meeting was attended by some 40 villagers, with feelings very much against the plan which is for the corner of Back Street and Winch Road.

Residents of Gayton who are upset at the proposed relocation of Gayton School
Geoff Gibling ANL-160124-143149009

Residents of Gayton who are upset at the proposed relocation of Gayton School Geoff Gibling ANL-160124-143149009

The plan is to replace the present primary school on the Lynn Road with a larger one, providing 210 places, a multi-use games area, sport pitch, car park and other works.

But residents have fought against the plan, saying it is too large for the site, poses traffic hazards and throws up concerns over sewerage and frequent flooding.

Resident Geoff Gibling said: “I am not against the school, I am against the position of the school ... it is not ideal for the welfare of the children and people of the village.

“There are many questions that have possible been overlooked and not assessed and some of the answers we have had back regarding questions of traffic issues have been poor.”

He said the projected house-building in the village meant that the school should cater for 250 pupils. “This is not future-proofed,” he said.

“I think it has been a tick-box assessment but some of the consultants have come out and been here for 40 minutes to an hour.”

His wife Julie said the proposed parking for the school were “chaos ... an accident waiting to happen”.

She was very worried about the proximity to dykes on that site. She said: “It is just so close and people are not aware of them. If a child escapes out of there, whether it is school age or pre-school, that will be it.”

Retired headmaster John Bennett drew applause when he said “why build a school which by definition everybody going to it has to cross the road”.

The meeting had heard from Gayton’s county councillor Toby Coke that he supported the proposal and from the children’s services officer, Chris Hill, that it met all the requirements to be considered by planning.

After discussion, the parish council agreed to submit a series of concerns on the plan with the county council but chairman Bob King explained that as the scheme met criteria it could not formally object as such.