Officials back new Gayton school project
Controversial plans for a new primary school in a West Norfolk village could be given the go-ahead as early as next week.
A Norfolk County Council planning report has admitted the proposed development in Gayton would be in breach policy guidelines if it is approved.
But officials have still recommended approval at a planning meeting next Friday, insisting the need for new educational facilities in the village outweighs the concerns raised on issues such as flood risk.
The scheme allows for a new 210 place primary school, plus a nursery with room for 52 children to be built on land at the corner of Back Street and Winch Road.
The project was first proposed more than two years ago to replace the existing school site on Lynn Road, where a number of temporary buildings have been used since the school became a through primary in 2011.
Residents living near the site have consistently opposed the plan, mostly on the grounds of flood risk and excessive traffic in the area.
But members of the county council’s planning committee are being urged to back the plan, as long as no new issues are raised by the Environment Agency.
The group has previously voiced concerns about the plan, though officers’ report to the committee says it has no objection to the current plan.
The report said: “It is considered that the proposal would not be in accordance with the policies contained within the development plan and constitutes a departure.
“Significant weight is afforded to the need for an enhanced education provision which outweigh the harm caused by developing the site the subject of this application.”
The report added that West Norfolk Council, which commented on the project as a consultee, welcomed the proposed community facilities but called for flood risk and transport issues to be resolved, including the provision of suitable drop-off points, as well as a review of the building’s design.