New £4.9m school to be built despite being 'far from perfect'
PUBLISHED: 07:51 25 August 2019
North Somerset Council
A school for up to 420 pupils will be built in Yatton after planning permission for the long-awaited scheme was accepted.
The new primary will be built at North End, within Bloor Homes' housing estate, and is due to open in 2020.
Concerns over the appearance, layout, parking and the need for additional school places in Yatton had been aired in the weeks leading up to the decision.
However, North Somerset Council's planning committee felt the project was acceptable and necessary.
Cllr Steve Bridger admitted the scheme was not ideal.
The Yatton ward councillor said: "There are still real issues with this school in this location.
"This whole development was developer-led. It wasn't in the development plan. It's been very constrained.
"It's far from perfect but I'm content that a lot of work has gone in to meet some of the concerns residents have had."
Bloor Homes has permission for hundreds of houses off Arnolds Way, many of which have been built, and a residential care complex called Strawberry Gardens is also due to open within the development next summer.
The green light was also given in 2016 for approximately 170 homes to the east of the Arnolds Way.
People living within the Bloor Homes development were among the 24 to object to the new school design.
The school's hall was likened to an 'agricultural barn' at a Yatton Parish Council meeting in June, while fears over traffic build up have also been raised.
North Somerset Council, which is spearheading the £4.9million project before Clevedon Learning Trust takes over the running of it, also had to change the layout around to preserve an archeological site.
Cllr Bridger added: "The school is universally welcomed by the community.
"I spoke in opposition to the outline proposals. A lot has happened since then. We need this school."
But not all councillors were convinced.
Cllr David Shopland said: "We never learn, do we? We just celebrated D-Day and now we have a double D-day - a disaster development.
"That school is in the wrong place. It's a disaster in the making.
"It might make a good site for a special needs school to save us having one in Clevedon."
Cllr Ann Harley said Churchill Academy and Broadoak schools were in the wrong locations and 'should never have been built'.
She added: "We have great difficulty finding land for schools.
"What I like about this (scheme for Yatton) is it has a nursery school on site. That's vitally important."