Boston

Controversial Algarkirk special needs school passed

Controversial plans to turn a former dairy room and creamery into a special needs school in Algarkirk have been passed, despite concerns over road safety and the effect on neighbouring properties.

The Chelsea Group of Children is set to build the new school at the site of The Coach House, off Hall Lane, and will include an extension to the front of the building and the rear roof area.

Organisers say it will teach a maximum of 30 children aged between 4-11.

However, those opposed to the application said the single track lanes leading to the new premises would cause safety issues.

They said the plans would create no economic benefit to the village and argued it would have an impact on the character of the area – including noise and traffic at peak times.

A layout of the main school site.

Libby Hartman, Chelsea Group of Children director, told councillors the school would have a “small impact” on the area and create a sustainable use for the location.

She disputed the concerns over noise and allegations of damage to property adding: “These are not young offenders, they are small children with special needs.”

Another representative, Jessica Duemler said the school would allow children “from this community to have a short, normal journey to school every day” and mean they don’t have to go to a residential school or be bussed long distances.

More than 32 representations were received prior to the meeting, with 22 being letters of support and 10 being letters of objection.

Plans for the inside of the school on the ground floor.

Chairman of the parish council councillor Stephen Walker was keen to affirm the objections were not due to it being a special needs school but due to lack of road infrastructure, road safety and it having “no economic or environmental benefit to the community”.

Objector Shona Taylor, who has lived in Lincolnshire for 18 years and bought the nearby Old Rectory off the applicant Darryll Louizou in 2014, said when her and her partner moved in it was “important” their children grow up in a peaceful and rural setting.

She objected to the suitability of the location and disputed a number of points in the report.

She also raised concerns that the land, which includes an area known as The Paddock, would surround.

She said children coming from “all over Lincolnshire” would make any traffic plan “not plausible”.

Councillors agreed to the “ethos” of the building, with Councillor Brian Rush saying it would be an “emotional” debate and calling the project “fabulous”.

However, several agreed with residents’ concerns over highways safety. Councillor Rush did however, implore the organisers “not to abandon Boston”.

Lincolnshire County Council Highways had not objected to the plans.

Councillor Peter Bedford, however, said he had sat on a county council committee eight years ago to look at special needs school provision and worried another eight years could go by before a new school could be built.

He added he visited Hall Lane and saw an LCC library van there.

”If that can get down there all the objections are blown out of the water as far as that’s concerned,” he said.

Councillors voted the application through by six votes to four.

Yesterday, an “ambitious” £50 million shake-up of Lincolnshire’s schools which will see an increase of up to 500 places for children with special educational needs, was announced.


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