Association loses fight to stop plans

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A COMMUNITY association has called a decision to allow building on its current centre’s site as ‘a kick in the teeth’.

Suffolk County Council’s development control committee approved an application on Monday to allow the building of two new classrooms at Beck Row Primary School.

The application was passed by six votes to five.

But Beck Row Community Association is angry that its adjoining centre will be affected.

The development is part of the School Organisational Review (SOR) and community association members felt their concerns had been steamrollered in favour of the SOR.

Grenville Dale, chairman of the association, said: “We came here knowing the result.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the fight that the councillors put up on our behalf, but I suspect that the SOR was what swung it.”

Mary Rolfe, a trustee of the association, had spoken at the meeting on behalf of the association and residents.

She said they had been put under ‘mental and emotional pressure’ by the plans and asked for the decision to be deferred.

Ms Rolfe’s comments were met with applause by the 12 residents who had travelled to Endeavour House, Ipswich, to support the association.

Frank Stockley, education officer for Suffolk, said they had worked with the association to find an alternative venue, but to no avail.

He added that a quick decision was needed for the building work to meet a statutory deadline of September 11.

The association will now stay at the school site but president Pat Barker said losing lettings was inevitable as the area would be ‘dark and narrow’.

Colin Noble, Suffolk county councillor for Row Heath, said: “We want to deliver high quality classrooms and this decision allows us to do precisely that.”