December 13 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
“Education, education, education” was once the mantra which helped Tony Blair lead Labour into government.
Now it seems to have become the key issue for developers hoping to build up to 250 homes in a village on the outskirts of Norwich.
Last night around 75 people packed into a parish council meeting in Trowse, to the east of the city, to show their opposition for the plans.
The meeting had been organised by Trowse with Newton Parish Council to give developers Le Ronde Wright and Norfolk Homes the chance to offer villagers three options for a new school in the village.
That is because Trowse is identified as having the potential for 250 new homes within South Norfolk Council’s Local Plan, which is currently being finalised through to 2026.
However the two development companies are having to work closely together to gain planning permissions after Norfolk County Council made it clear in February that it would object to any development which doesn’t bring a new school to the village.
Norfolk Homes is proposing to develop 150 homes off White Horse Lane, between the village and the Trowse Bypass, and Le Ronde Wright is looking to build around 100 homes on the YMCA and Crown Point land, known as the Arminghall Settlement and owned by Colmans.
Trowse Primary School currently has 105 pupils and is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. The new school would cost an estimated £4million and would initially replace the 150-year-old school with a new building for 210 pupils, with the potential to expand for 315 pupils in total and 420 pupils in the future.
The matter is complicated further by the outline planning permissions already in place for 670 homes at the nearby Deal Ground and May Gurney sites, between Trowse and the city, which is expected to bring 108 primary school age children to the area.
Last night’s meeting asked Trowse residents if they would prefer for the new school to be built on the village’s allotments, off Dell Loke, as option one and the preferred option for the developers.
This would see new allotments established on a site to the south of the Trowse Bypass, although option two offers that site for the school, offering good scope for future expansion but further from the centre of the village.
Or a third option is being offered on the boundary of the two housing sites, which would result in less housing, less scope for expansion and less financial contributions.
Former parish councillor Jason Middleton was among the agitated residents to speak up about the village being faced with development and a new school, saying: “The county council have stabbed us in the back.”
District councillor Trevor Lewis and county councillor Roger Smith fielded many questions on the night and were left in little doubt about the views of residents.
Mr Smith said: “Do we really want a school which has lasted 150 years to last another 50 to 100 years?” To which he received an emphatic “yes” from around the room.
New road accesses, drainage, pre-existing parking problems being made worse and protecting the current school were all raised as reasons for objecting to the proposals by residents.
Parish council chairman Lyn Fabre finished the meeting, at The Manor Rooms, by asking for a show of hands for who was against development in the village as a whole, with all but two hands being raised.
Questionnaires are now being distributed among allotment holders, villagers and parents of Trowse Primary pupils to gain more feedback for the developers, who hope to hold another consultation meeting later this month.
Do you think a school should be built in Trowse? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email email@example.com