South Shropshire primary school gets nod for new hall
A primary school in south Shropshire will be able to build a new ‘desperately needed’ hall, despite fears from a neighbour that it will have an impact on their home.
Stottesdon C of E Primary School, near Cleobury Mortimer, was set to build a hall which was given permission back in 2016.
But the plans, which also included the demolition of a stone wall, were shelved amidst fears it would cost too much money and a mains sewer was found running beneath the school garden.
But a revised plan for the hall, which will cater for assemblies, lunchtimes, PE classes and after school clubs, was given the go ahead by Shropshire Council’s South Planning Committee yesterday.
Headteacher Kate Jones said the new hall was vital, with the school having increased pupil numbers from 44 in 2006 to 130 now.
She said: “It is an outstanding school and we are proud of it but this is desperately needed, the current accommodation is inadequate and we need the extra space.”
But the committee heard that an objection had been raised by the current resident of the Old School House, who had not been aware of the plans when they had moved in.
They told the committee it would be “overbearing and oppressive” and would have an impact on their life.
But Councillor Cecilia Motley, member for Corvedale, said she had seen the need for extra space at the school first hand.
She said: “The site visit wasn’t the first time I had seen the problem at Stottesdon and I have seen how creative they have to be just so that everybody can have lunch.
“However, the site is tight and it would be very difficult to design something there without upsetting nobody.”
Councillor Madge Shineton, member for Cleobury Mortimer, added: “This is an extremely popular school and it has consistently high Ofsted reports.
“The future of the school and the essence needs to be taken into account.”
And Councillor Gwilym Butler, who is a Shropshire Council member, but also sits on Stottesdon Parish Council, said: “I attended the parish meeting and it was a very long debate and in the end it was supported with a heavy heart.”
Presenting the application to members of the committee, planning officer Tim Rogers, said: “Stottesdon C of E Primary School is situated on the south side of the village opposite the Rectory and Old Police House.
“It is not a listed building, but is a prominent building in the conservation area.
“The Victorian stone and brick building c1892 is sited on western side of the school site and has a dual frontage.
“There have also been a succession of more recent temporary timber clad buildings being added to the east of the main school.
There had been six objections from members of the public.
Members voted to approve the plan, with seven voted in favour and one abstention.
By Andrew Morris, local democracy reporter