PLANS for a school’s redevelopment have raised fears over its potential impact on surrounding residents.
The project to demolish Kineton High in Banbury Road has received more than 50 objections, mainly concerning the planned sports block which it is feared will impose on neighbouring homes.
The application from developer Wates, on behalf of the Department of Education, includes the demolition of existing school buildings and redevelopment of a two-storey science block, a new sports block, a multi-use sixth form and space to replace existing mobile classrooms.
It is part of a £60million project to improve three of the county’s secondary schools funding from the government’s school rebuilding pot.
Although there is some support for its redevelopment, councillors in the area believe the proposed sports hall goes against policies in Stratford District Council’s Core Strategy – the planning blueprint for future development.
Kineton ward councillor Christopher Mills is among those with concerns.
He said: “The siting of the new sports block which abuts the rear gardens of the occupants living in Shortacres, will have a detrimental, long lasting, and negative effect on the lives of these residents. The proposed sports block will be overbearing and will not be sympathetic to its surroundings.
“The developers have said that they will be planting trees to soften the effect that this metal clad building will have. In saying this, I feel that it is an admission by the developers that the siting of the sports hall will be harmful to its surroundings.
“Users of the hall during the day and the evening will inevitably cause a noise disturbance for the neighbouring properties due to the hall’s close proximity to the rear gardens of Shortacres. There is also a security issue as this block will act as a shield for anyone intending to climb over a fence to gain access to the gardens of Shortacres.”
He added construction traffic would also add to the village’s existing congestion problems.
Other concerns included the possibility of anti-social behaviour, lack of parking for sixth form students and the impact on wildlife.
Meanwhile, five letters have been sent in support of the redevelopment.
But despite the raft of objections, a report has recommended the plans get the go-ahead.
SDC deputy chief executive Tony Perks concluded: “I am satisfied that the proposed development is acceptable in principle and in accordance with the aspirations of Kineton Neighbourhood Plan which states that one of its principles as being to support the replacement or major refurbishment of Kineton High School.”
“Assessing the planning balance I consider that the benefits from the scheme would outweigh any adverse impact to the amenity of local residents and short term construction disruption.”
He added the proposal was a ‘sustainable development’ and aligned with the policies of the Core Strategy.
A decision will be made during a planning meeting on Wednesday February 2.