Sleaford

Car park to tackle “dangerous” school traffic rejected

A local farmer’s efforts to reduce mayhem outside a village school with a new car park have been rebuked because ‘parents wouldn’t use it’.

Irelands’ Farms wanted to create a 50 space car park on Drove Lane, North Rauceby, along with a residential development of around five houses on the nearby Tom Lane.

However officers said the plans went against local policy, adding they were not considered likely to work due to the 145 metre distance to the school.

They said the car park was “oversized” and would be underused.

They also added the roads were ‘inadequate’ and the development would “intrude on the rural setting” of the village.

Plans for the car park submitted to North Kesteven District Council.

Agent Robert Doughty, on behalf of the applicant, said issues with parents parking on the side of the road were “well-known” and that it was “mayhem” during pick-up and drop-off times when it often became a one-way street.

Councillors were unable to provide valid policy reasons for approval, with chairman of the committee Pat Woodman saying community support was “not a good enough reason”.

She added: “The situation in North Rauceby is not unique, nearly every primary school in every village causes the same problem… it’s appalling but that’s the way it is because no schools that were built some time ago have provision for parking.

“You’re looking for sympathy for a particular village, but it is not unique.

“Also, pragmatically, it’s mainly mothers – I’m not being sexist – but they do park as near to the gate as they possibly can and if they have to cross the road with their children that is quite hazardous, particularly if you are going between parked cars.”

How the development could look in full.

However, several councillors did support the plans, with Councillor Susan Waring saying: “The applicants really do have the best intentions for the community to benefit from the car park.

“You have an opportunity as councillors to listen and respect the residents’ views in this delightful village.”

Councillor Geoff Hazelwood added: “I have driven on this road and to go quickly at school times is a disaster.”

The head teacher of Rauceby Church of England Primary School, along with parents and residents had submitted more than 30 supportive comments outlining “dangerous traffic chaos”.

Rauceby Parish Council also supported the plans, with Councillor Roger Enstone telling the committee they received “numerous” complaints about the issue from parents and seen a number of minor incidents take place.

Lincolnshire County Council Highways had no objection to the plans but did ask for road widening and construction of a pedestrian crossing point.

Rauceby Primary School has an application for a pre-school building and car park still to be determined, however, this was said to be for staff, not parents.


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