Expansion of Drake Infant School in Thetford under fire from residents who fear traffic chaos

Local residents are concerned about parking during school hours after the school in expanded.Picture

Local residents are concerned about parking during school hours after the school in expanded.Picture by: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Plans for a £5.3m expansion of a primary school have been met with objections by people who fear their cul-de-sac could turn into a traffic nightmare.

Norfolk County Council wants to grow Drake Infant School from its current 180 places to 420 places by September 2016, with the building of ten classrooms and a hall planned.

Residents in Fairfields, where the school lies, have complained that their existing traffic headaches will only get worse with the expansion.

Concerns have also been raised about the loss of recreational space.

Stephen Hunt, vice chairman of Croxton Road Community Association, said around 40 people had come to the group's recent meetings to vent their frustration.

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'It's a ludicrous idea to extend a small school down a cul-de-sac into a large school.

'Thetford has way below the national standard for green spaces and recreation and this will make that worse. It also means more cars on an already busy road,' he said.

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The Thetford Society and Thetford Town Council have also raised concerns about the plans.

A letter from Stuart Wilson, chairman of the society's environmental committee, suggests the expansion wait for the Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension to be completed.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said the plans were due to the town's impending growth and to ensure enough school places: 'The local community has been consulted as part of the planning process and we attended a town council meeting earlier this month to hear the views of residents and councillors. The proposal is expected to go to planning committee next month and the views of the community will be considered as part of the decision making process.'

What do you think of the plans? Email andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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