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Controversial plans for 69 new homes on school site to be discussed

PUBLISHED: 13:41 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:29 14 September 2018

The back of the school in Reydon, near Southwold. Picture: Saint Felix School

The back of the school in Reydon, near Southwold. Picture: Saint Felix School

Archant

The next step to enable a public school to build 69 houses on playing fields will be decided at a council meeting next week.

The plans by Saint Felix School in Reydon was given outline planning permission last year, subject to conditions, and these are being debated by Waveney District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

The committee will discuss whether to approve the Section 106 provisions - a way councils can make applications acceptable in planning terms - put forward by the school.

They include conditions for 35pc of the housing to be affordable, replacing current playing fields and opening up the school’s sports facilities for community use, and building new footpaths to provide access to open spaces.

If the provisions are accepted by the committee, the plans will have outline planning permission, enabling the school to sell the land and developers to come forward with a detailed scheme for the site.

Any money from the sale of the land or development will be ringfenced into improving the facilities at the school, with the school hoping to raise at least £4.3m in the sale.

The plans have been met with anger and disappointment by residents, with more than 200 responses from the neighbourhood being received.

Since the S106 provisions have been made public, 11 neighbours have objected to the plans, reiterating concerns over road safety, a lack of need for such housing, and that the S106 does nothing to justify new housing in a sensitive area.

Stephen Chessher, chairman of Reydon Action Group for the Environment, which has over 160 members and has fought against the plans for more than a year, said: “The council had to extend the consultation period until September 11 – they had no choice as they failed to publish all the relevant documentation initially.

“But this has not stopped officers recommending that the S106 is accepted. This hardly suggests listening to residents’ arguments is at the very top of their agenda.”

A Saint Felix School spokesman said that the school was awaiting the outcome of next week’s meeting before making any further announcements.

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