School block set for green light despite fears

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PLANS to build a new teaching block at a town centre school are set to be given the go-ahead, despite objections over traffic, safety and pollution.

The stand alone building with four classrooms at St Edmund’s Catholic Primary, in Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, has been recommended for approval by planning officers at Suffolk County Council.

The block will accommodate an extra 120 Year 5 and 6 pupils, which are expected as part of the re-organisation of Catholic schools, including the closure of St Louis Middle.

However, the authority has received 14 letters of objection with concerns raised about the impact on an already congested street at the start and end of the school day.

They have also cited the potential for safety and pollution issues.

Meanwhile, St Edmundsbury Borough Council has argued that Friars Lane, which would provide access to new parking spaces and cycle storage, is ‘not appropriate’ for increased vehicle use because of its ‘narrow width and limited visibility on to Westgate Street’.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council has objected on the grounds of ‘overdevelopment’.

The Bury Society is ‘happy with the school development but want the traffic to be controlled, if necessary by the police’.

The Highway Authority has no objection to the proposal.

In a report, David Palk, the county council’s development manager, said: “I consider that the addition of older pupils, who are more likely to travel independently to school, should not significantly add to the congestion.

“A school travel plan condition is recommended to encourage sustainable modes of transport.”

The plans will be discussed by the authority’s development control committee on Thursday July 21.