Lakenheath battles Suffolk County Council over school plan
County Hall has committed to battling Lakenheath Parish Council in its ambition to build a school.
Both parties are locked in a dispute as to where a 420-place primary and 30-place pre-school should be constructed.
The parish council is taking legal action to overturn a planning decision which would see it built on Station Road, under a flightpath to the local RAF base.
"The Judge obviously did not think the claim is misconceived otherwise he would not have granted the permission," Cllr Hermione Brown
Suffolk County Council said the village authority proceeding with a judicial review – a process that could quash proposals – is ‘misconceived’.
“The new school has been designed to be suitable for use in Lakenheath, taking into account site specific concerns including noise,” a statement read.
“It will provide sufficient places for pupils arising from proposed 660 homes in the local area, to meet expected local needs.
“The proposed location for the school is shown by official figures to be in the quietest part of the village.
“Two of the three grounds of claim have been rejected by the court already, and the county council will continue to oppose the claim when it comes before the court.”
This process is likely to take place later this year and the parish council’s costs will be capped at £15,000.
Councillor Hermione Brown, chairman of the planning sub-committee, has long-since rallied against the proposals.
She said: “Suffolk County Council is being very selective in their statement.
“They said all this despite their acknowledgement that external noise is a major problem to teaching and outdoor learning.
“They know the school would be directly under the twin track flight path returning to RAF Lakenheath. This is as far as we are aware unprecedented in the UK – to deliberately site a school under a military jet flight path.
“The county council, for unknown reasons, is determined to ignore the views of the parish council and the existing school.”
Cllr Brown said she believed a 2015 vote provided a mandate for their action.
She added: “The Judge obviously did not think the claim is misconceived otherwise he would not have granted the permission.”