'Horrendous' look of new £5m school slated

PUBLISHED: 05:57 19 June 2019

An artist impression of Yatton Primary School.

An artist impression of Yatton Primary School.

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A new school, due to open in Yatton next year, has been likened to a 'motorway services' amid fears the scheme is being rushed through.

Planning permission for a £5million primary school at North End has been secured, but before construction can begin accepted layouts must be produced.

But a 'horrendous' looking hall and North Somerset Council's decision to move the school buildings closer to homes to protect an archaeological site drew criticism from Yatton Parish Council on Monday evening.

The school will be situated within Bloor Homes' housing estate off Arnolds Way and North Somerset Council is aiming for it to open in September 2020.

Neighbours say the proposed positioning of the school is different to what they were once told and it will be just 15 metres from their properties and want it pushed back.

But the parish council meeting was told the main school building and hall can only sit on certain parts of the site because underneath the ground is an area of archaeological importance.

MORE: Body to run new school in Yatton announced.

Chris Jackson, chairman of the planning committee, told fellow parish councillors the estimated cost of excavating the site would be 'six figures' and experts do not have the funding.

Further concerns were raised over the designs for the school, with the hall suitable for playtimes and sport attracting plenty of negative feedback.

Cllr Jill Iles described it as 'horrendous', while Cllr Jackson compared the school drawings to a 'motorway services'.

Cllr David Crossman added: "It looks like an agricultural building.

"I fully support the neighbours in getting the planners to move it (the school) back at least 10 metres. It's obvious going to affect the amount of light."

Parish councillors voted not to support the appearance and layout put forward by North Somerset Council, although the latter will have the final say.

Members though did stress the importance of a new school to the village, with Cllr Jackson warning there may not be enough places for pupils to receive their education in Yatton by 2020-21 without one.

Cllr Caroline Sheard said: "It feels like it (North Somerset Council) is trying to rush this through. All the implications need to be considered."

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