Wymondham headteacher objects to siting of catering van near school
A headteacher has objected to the proposed siting of a mobile catering van near her school.
Victoria Musgrave, headteacher at Wymondham High School, has raised concerns that the appeal of the new eatery could undo the school's efforts to ensure students maintain healthy diets and encourage the youngsters to cross a busy road.
But the application, submitted by Joanne Johnson, of Taverham, near Norwich, has been recommended for approval by planners at South Norfolk Council who believe no significant highway safety problems would arise.
The proposals will be considered by the authority's planning committee on Wednesday.
According to the plans, the catering trailer would be located on the forecourt of Postmill Garage, in Postmill Close, and would provide refreshments for customers and passersby, including those visiting an adjacent industrial estate, local businesses and the high school which has an entrance off Norwich Road.
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In a letter opposing the move, Mrs Musgrave worried about the type of food which would be served, which is not specified in the plans.
She said: 'We are concerned that the fascination of a new (albeit unhealthy) eatery in the immediate area would have an adverse affect on our young people if they partake in this fast food outlet, which is the acknowledged aim of the applicant.
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'This especially worries us as it could lead us to an afternoon of lethargic and capricious behaviour amongst our students, which we do everything in our power to avoid.'
Sue Hogg, sixth form support officer, also wrote: 'All main school pupils leave the site at 3pm and Norwich Road always has cars parked along it, with parents waiting to collect children. To have children trying to negotiate crossing this road as well as Postmill Close intent on getting a burger is, in my opinion, an accident waiting to happen.'
Wymondham Town Council has also objected on the grounds of highway safety and the potential for disturbance caused by noise and cooking smells.
But in a report, planning officer Jacqui Jackson said: 'I consider that the students and any other pedestrians already cross the road for a variety of reasons and would not consider that the new catering trailer would result in such a highway safety issue to result in justification to refuse this proposal.'
She added the council can not control the type of food sold from any authorised establishment and opening times would be restricted in line with hours on the industrial estate to prevent any adverse impact on nearby residents.
Miss Johnson was unavailable for comment, but within the plans she said no additional pressure would be put on the area's parking space as 90pc of customers are expected to arrive by foot, that the trailer would be linked to the garage's electricity supply preventing noise from a generator and a bin would be provided for litter.