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Easton: School disappointed by council’s vote against housing plans

PUBLISHED: 07:14 04 March 2014 | UPDATED: 07:14 04 March 2014

File photo ofa housing estate being built

File photo ofa housing estate being built

Archant

A primary school set to benefit from a neighbouring housing development has said it is “disappointed” with the parish council for recommending the application’s refusal.

Easton Primary School would receive a new car park as part of Hopkins and Moore’s 17 dwelling development in the village, offered as part of the its 106 agreements.

Headteacher Cheryl Singleton had welcomed the offer, believing it to be the only solution to the school’s long-standing traffic problems and was therefore “disappointed” to learn the parish council had voted against the application last Monday.

“We were disappointed because we felt it would have been hugely beneficial to the school in terms of the proposed car parking and the possibility that more pupils would be in our catchment area,” she said.

Mrs Singleton was particularly surprised by the decision as the council had previously highlighted its concerns over the traffic, which the car park would help to resolve.

Easton Parish Council conceded the significance of traffic in the village when discussing the application last week.

However a majority of councillors felt the positives of the car parking offer were outweighed by other concerns the application posed.

Speaking in response to the school’s latest comments, council chairman John Owen said: “I think people appreciated the car parking might help solve the problems but overall there were too many things against it.

“One of the main things was the size of the development and the fact it was not in keeping with the rest of the village.”

Councillors also suggested the car park may not fully solve the traffic issues as many parents may still use the road.

Mrs Singleton disagreed, however, saying she had “absolutely no doubt” the parking would be used and help the problem.

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.