Expansion plans for Norton school approved

Plans to expand Gig Mill Primary School were given the go-ahead.

Plans to expand Gig Mill Primary School were given the go-ahead.

First published in News
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A NORTON school has been given the go-ahead to expand and create four new classrooms to cater for an additional 105 pupils.

Three existing undersized classrooms at Gig Mill Primary School will also be made bigger, a new staff room and play area will be built and dining room facilities increased.

Currently, the school on The Broadway has a pupil capacity of 525 but that will increase to 630, with the creation of four new jobs.

Dudley Council has been allocated £1.74million basic need funding from Central Government to provide additional pupil places across the borough, as data indicated a future shortfall.

The school was deemed suitable as the increase would mirror the level the school previously operated at in 2005.

Local residents objected to the plans as they were concerned about parking, stating surrounding roads were already chaotic when parents were dropping off and collecting their children.

Ann Little, of Morning Pines, spoke at yesterday's (Tuesday July 22) meeting of the Development Control Committee to explain the concerns.

She told members: "Some residents in Poole Street have no driveways and have to park their cars on the road, leaving little or no space for additional parking. But cars still park, causing problems at the junction of Glebe Lane and Heath Farm Road.

"Refuse collectors and emergency vehicles have great difficulty manoeuvring what is regularly a chicane. Due to the majority of residents in Morning Pines being elderly or infirm, there is a higher rate than usual of ambulances and district nurses needing access."

Karen Silvera, chairman of governors, said pupil intake would increase gradually by 15 children per year, starting in September 2015.

Addressing residents' concerns, she said the school would be happy to adhere to planning conditions, including additional staff parking and a financial contribution towards the implementation of traffic regulation orders.

She continued: "The school's travel plan needs to be refreshed and we will review ways of travelling to school, offering new options. We have cycling racks but will look to install cycle store for staff members."

Before the application was approved, committee chairman, Cllr Qadar Zada said: "I think parking outside schools is a problem across the borough, therefore I don't think existing parking concerns should put off development.

"This is primarily intended to improve the working and eating environment for the children."

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