Campaign group hit with blow after homes on school site plans pass next step
PUBLISHED: 12:19 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:19 19 September 2018
A campaign group attempting to stop the sale of school land to allow 69 houses to be built was hit with a blow after plans passed the next stage.
Saint Felix School, in Reydon, near Southwold applied for outline planning permission for the homes to enable the sale of the land and raise more than £4m to go towards facility improvements.
Waveney District councillors voted last night to accept additional conditions - known as a Section 106 provisions - on the application, going against issues raised by campaigners.
The vote passed by a singular vote, being accepted by six votes to five.
Within the Section 106 provisions included a commitment for 35pc of the housing to be affordable housing at 80pc market rate, allowing community use on the upgraded pool, and replacing the lost playing fields.
Campaigners and councillors highlighted the fact the new playing fields will be on grounds already used for equestrian and athletics activities, worries over the safety of a pedestrian crossing on Halesworth Road, and concerns over affordable housing turning into second homes in the future.
The decision was branded by Southwold and Reydon district councillor David Beavan, who has campaigned against second homes in the area, as “wrong”.
Mr Beavan said: “I am extremely disappointed and I don’t see any benefit to houses we can’t afford and a swimming pool we can’t use.
“It isn’t nimbyism, it is the wrong time, the wrong place, and the wrong decision.”
At the meeting, Southwold and Reydon district councillor Michael Ladd criticised Suffolk Highways over their response to the plans.
He said: “We know that they [Highways] don’t have a full grasp and I know councillor Rivett is the expert of these things but I think the experts built the Titanic and I don’t think they have the local knowledge of local residents.”
Stephen Chessher, chairman of RAGE, a 160 members strong campaign group which has been lobbying against the proposal said: “We were disappointed by the result on St Felix but it is not the end of the road.
“We think that planning officers and the Planning Committee got the law wrong and if or when tonight’s decision is formally confirmed we expect to go to court for a judicial review.”
Saint Felix School has been approached for comment.