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Scheme to turn former Bromsgrove school into housing gets go-ahead
12:37pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in Local
A SCHEME to convert an old Bromsgrove school, dating back to the 1870s, into housing has been given the green light.
But the application to turn the former Meadows First School into 14 residential units faced criticism, with the timing of the consultation period raised.
Bromsgrove District Council’s planning committee discussed the plan for the Stourbridge Road-based site at its latest meeting held on Monday, (September 9).
The Victorian-style school was constructed at the site in the late 1870s, but the building became redundant after a new school - along with a new Parkside Middle School - was built behind it.
The issue of the consultation period for parents of Meadows and Parkside children was raised as it had been held during the summer holidays.
Resident Alan Mitchell told planning members that it was clear parents had been excluded from the consultation, describing its timing as opportune.
He also highlighted the increased number of cars that would be leaving the site during the rush hours when children go to and from the schools.
In response David Onions, on behalf of applicant Stuart Dudley, pointed out that traffic generated from the site would be low. He added it was a sensitively designed development.
The ward member, Sidemoor councillor Chris Bloore, said many parents were not aware of the scheme, and appealed for it to be deferred until after the consultation period ends on September 26.
This was a view shared by Drakes Cross and Walkers Heath councillor Sue Baxter who, in the debate, said granting it would give the message they were not listening to residents.
Council officers pointed out that although it was being determined, if anything significant was raised during consultations, the application could be brought back to the committee.
Discussing the highways impact, Beacon councillor Christine McDonald said giving the scheme the go-ahead would put children's lives at risk.
Marlbrook councillor John Ruck rejected this as he felt there would not be lots of cars rushing out from only 14 dwellings.
Norton councillor Pete Lammas spoke in favour of the scheme, saying he was glad to see a building of historical merit being utilised.
When the vote was taken, the application was approved seven votes to one.
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