Objections to bid for 69 homes at Saint Felix School near Southwold

Saint Felix School at Reydon, near Southwold. Picture: BILL DARNELL

Saint Felix School at Reydon, near Southwold. Picture: BILL DARNELL - Credit: EDP � 2003

A leading Suffolk independent school looks set to secure permission to build 69 homes on playing fields to raise more than £4million for improvements to ensure the school's future, despite objections.

Saint Felix School, at Reydon, near Southwold, has a long list of projects it says are 'necessary to ensure its continued sustainable operation'.

These include upgrading of computer systems; refurbishment of science laboratories; refurbishment and modernisation of boarding houses; replacement of central heating system; new sewage system and window replacement works.

Projects will also include provision of a sand-based hockey pitch; new sports changing room; new rugby pitch including new sprinkler and turf; upgrading of the swimming pool, changing facilities and plant; upgrade of existing hard sports play area to include two additional courts and new athletics facilities.

Waveney District Council's planning committee is being recommended to approve the application when it meets next Tuesday, July 11 providing Saint Felix enters into a legal agreement to ensure money from the development goes to a ring-fenced account for the work.

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An area of four acres currently used for equestrian sports would be converted to replacement playing fields, and this work would be done before the housing development starts.

However, councillors will be told of more than 145 objections, plus opposition from Reydon Parish Council, and the Southwold and Reydon Society, while Southwold Town Council has voiced concern at the cumulative effect of new developments in Southwold and Reydon 'causing major issues' for infrastructure-related services.

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Suffolk Preservation Society said the housing project would be a 'major incursion' into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and exceptional circumstances were required to justify such development.

In a report to the planning committee, officers said: 'The applicant has demonstrated to the satisfaction of Sport England that the playing pitches to be lost through the proposed development may be re-provided within the school grounds to equal if not better quality.

'The school's commitment to enter into a community use agreement to allow the improved facilities to be used by local community groups is considered of some benefit.'

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