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Travelling family can stay on school site for another nine months

By Andrew Morris | St Martins | News | Published:

A travelling family have been given permission to remain living at a former primary school site for another nine months.

The former Ifton Heath Primary School on Overton Road

The Stokes family have been living at the former Ifton Heath Primary School site, near St Martins, for a number of years.

Council bosses are currently drawing up plans to build more than 30 homes on the site under its new housing company, Cornovii Developments Ltd.

Now Shropshire Council’s Northern Planning Committee has granted permission for the Stokes family to remain on the school site for a further nine months while a new site is found.

Councillor Keith Roberts said: “Another nine months sounds fair while the work to find a new site is on-going and it is fine to be passed.”

Mark Perry, case officer, told the committee: “This current application now seeks consent to extend the time period again for a further nine months. The application site is no longer used and has been out of use since the closure of the school." 

He added: “The caravans and associated vehicles have been sited on the hardstanding since 2015. The principle of the use has been accepted by the granting of the original 12 month consent and the subsequent extensions to further increase the time period. The key issue is therefore whether a further nine-month occupation would be unacceptable." 

Specific

“The status of the Stokes family as travelling show people was also accepted as part of the previous consents. The original permission was specific to Mr Stokes and his family which consists of his wife, brother and two sons and their families. 

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“It is considered that there is an identified need for the site for Mr Stokes and his family and that no further evidence is required of need.”

He added: “Members may have concerns that the previously granted consents were meant to allow the council time to pursue an alternative site for permanent occupation.

“Alternatives are being considered by the council with a view to finding the Stokes family a permanent site, however further time is required.

“Members should be reassured that alternatives are still being sought and there is no intention for there to become permanent occupancy of the Ifton Heath school site.”

The council hopes to build 35 homes on the school site. It hopes to have diggers on the site by Spring 2020.

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.

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