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King's Lynn school leaders urged to 'get a handle' on issues around site

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Leaders of a Lynn secondary school have been urged to do more to resolve problems with parking and anti-social behaviour near its premises.

The plea came as borough councillors approved plans to site new mobile classrooms and storage facilities on the grounds of the Springwood High School this week.

Members of West Norfolk Council's planning committee voted 11 to nil to support the installation remaining in place for up to five years during a meeting in Lynn on Monday.

Springwood High School.. (43143491)
Springwood High School.. (43143491)

But four other members abstained, included ward member Jo Rust.

She said she referred the application for two portable buildings, which would provide four classrooms as well as storage and lobby areas, to the committee because of concerns that had been raised with her by local residents.

A member of the public earlier argued there was a "chronic" parking problem in the area around the Queensway site, as well as issues with anti-social behaviour.

Jo Rust.
Jo Rust.

Mrs Rust, a former pupil and governor of the school, told her colleagues: "I have a great deal of affection for that school and for its aims and objectives to provide high quality education.

"However, they also need to be a good neighbour and, currently, there's a strong feeling that they are not being a good neighbour."

Mrs Rust claimed she had written to the school's headteacher to request a meeting to discuss the problems, without receiving a reply.

And she backed the resident's call for a condition requiring the school, which is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, to provide on-site parking for sixth form students who drive to lessons.

She added: "Local residents already face significant disruption and nuisance.

"For them to have to face this worsening situation is not acceptable if the school really wants to be part of the local community.

"I want to support this but I want to support the residents who live there as well."

Committee chairman Vivienne Spikings said she agreed with Mrs Rust, but maintained they could not impose a condition on parking as it was a separate issue to the application.

Former council deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds said the school should consider developing a travel plan to help tackle the problems.

And ex-leader Brian Long said he had to accept officers' recommendations to approve the scheme, despite his dislike of mobile classrooms.

But he added: "The broader issues need to be addressed by the school. The school, the trust and its governors need to get a handle on this."

School leaders have claimed the new rooms would reduce class sizes and free up space in the rest of its buildings.

They have also insisted the development will not lead to an increase in pupil numbers.

But Mrs Rust argued smaller classes "surely" meant more staff would be needed and it was inevitable that future housing developments in the Lynn area would mean pupil numbers rising even higher than they already are.

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