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Meeting cancelled after more detail sought over Gayton school plan

Planning news
Planning news

A decision on multi-million pound plans for a new school in a West Norfolk village has been deferred after officials were asked for more detail on the scheme.

Councillors had been due to decide whether the development in Gayton should be given the go-ahead or not at a county planning meeting on Friday morning.

But the session was cancelled at late notice and it could now be early March before the issue comes back onto the agenda.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “The Environment Agency asked for some further information.

“We can’t confirm an exact date when the application will go back before the committee but expect it could be in about two months time.”

The committee had been due to consider plans for a new 210-place primary school, plus a nursery with capacity for more than 50 children on a site at the corner of Back Street and Winch Road.

Although the scheme was first put forward more than two years ago, concerns have been raised over both flood risk and road safety issues.

But the village’s borough councillor, Alistair Beales, said the new facilities offered by the school were urgently needed and the site had stood up well to the recent heavy rainfall.

He said: “From my practical perspective, the school, once built, will drain at an attenuated rate exactly the same as the green field it is now and given the high rainfall and it’s hard to see that it will do anything other than drain even better in future, if any actual silting in the culvert is cleared.

“In my near 20 years managing the Gayton Estate, none of that land has ever been seriously threatened by flooding from the watercourse.”

However, objectors claim the cancellation of the meeting vindicates their concerns.

One of them, Geoff Gibling, said: “From all the residents who objected and not just me, we are pleased the meeting was cancelled as it proves this site is not fit for purpose.”

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