Rebuild of Kineton High School approved - but one councillor says new sports hall will be a 'malevolent presence that will loom over nearby residents'
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Plans to rebuild Kineton High School have been approved - but one councillor believes that the lives of residents living near its new sports hall will be 'blighted forever'.
Cllr Chris Mills (Con, Kineton) was speaking at this week’s Stratford District Council planning committee when he urged members to vote against plans to knock down the village centre facility and build an eco-friendly replacement.
He said: “I am very supportive of the construction of the new high school and, being an ex-governor, very excited that Kineton High is one of the 50 schools chosen as a rebuild.
“However, I am not so excited by the positioning of the new sports hall that will blight the lives of the neighbours living in Shortacres that back onto the school.
"The siting of the sports hall is causing a great deal of distress which is evidently affecting the health of the thoughts of having the metal-clad block just 23m away from the rear of their homes - looming over them like a malevolent presence.”
Cllr Mills explained that an alternative site for the hall at the rear of the school would be more logical and would have the support of neighbours.
The meeting also heard from Gary Stevens, a chartered town planner speaking on behalf of some of those living in Shortacres.
He said: “The residents are very concerned about the impact the sports hall will have on the amenity of their properties, particularly the enjoyment of their gardens which you’ll appreciate are very important to them and their wellbeing.
“These properties have relatively short gardens and the proposed sports hall will be at its shortest point some 14m from the boundary.”
But councillors were told that any changes to the plans could push the project back a year and head teacher Helen Bridge explained some of the issues faced by staff and pupils.
She explained: “We still have to use buckets to catch water when it rains heavily and there are door and window frames that we can put our fingers through.”
Cllr Danny Kendall (Con, Wellesbourne West) summed up the predicament facing committee members. He said: “In a perfect world it would be great if you could get the residents, the parish council and, in this case, the school to always agree on something. We can’t redesign what is before us tonight and I am going to have to consign that to perfect world territory.
“As far as I can see this is, on the whole, a very well designed plan. I cannot see any sound planning reasons to go against the officers’ recommendation so with that in mind I am happy to propose that we grant permission.”
The plans for the new school and sports hall were approved.