Rugeley school head warns of 'absolute chaos' over new homes

By Jack Averty | Rugeley | News | Published:

New homes will have a 'disastrous affect' on a nearby school, its headteacher has claimed.

Three two-storey homes are to be built on land opposite Chase View Community Primary School on the Pear Tree Estate in Rugeley after council chiefs gave the plans the green light.

But now the school's headteacher, Andy Minott, has warned of the 'absolute chaos' that will be caused by the construction of the homes and described the situation as 'awful'.

In a letter penned to the Express & Star and Cannock Chase District Council, which approved the plans, Mr Minott said: "It is immediately apparent that this development will have an extremely detrimental and disastrous effect upon parents dropping off and collecting their children at school in this vicinity.

"The absolute chaos of cars, diggers, workmen and children accessing the same access road (Hillary Crest), during the rush hour of the morning and then again during the evening is going to be intolerable. At best this project has been ill thought through and at its worst it’s a deliberate attempt at undermining community cohesion within an area that continues to be overlooked within Rugeley. Community relations will sour as parents will want to find parking outside local resident's properties.

"The school is a working environment that receives its own share of business deliveries, outgoings and visitors that are going to be negatively impacted upon. There is only one access way into the site and a very limited turning circle for cars, lorries, coaches and diggers. It is unbelievable that the highways department have given the go ahead for this development. Previous planning applications have been refused on the grounds of access. Clearly health and safety considerations have been thought of and then waived off as being inconsequential – how can this be so?

"Work has actually started, excavated and eventually halted due to the ground being contaminated with some kind of toxins. So with this being the case how are our children and the general public at large going to be protected whilst this land now lays bare?

"This truly is an awful set of circumstances that requires rectifying soon due to the end of the school summer holidays being very much in sight."

In response, the district council's head of economic development, Michael Tichford, said: “The council is aware that concerns have recently been expressed in respect of ground contamination and traffic congestion during the construction phase at the development site at Hillary Crest, Rugeley. These issues were addressed in the determination of the application and the planning permission is subject to conditions for a construction management plan to control construction activities and ground investigation and remediation strategy to ensure any contamination is dealt with appropriately.

"An officer has visited the site and the council has contacted the applicant and have asked him to clarify what operations have recently been undertaken and to make him aware that the responsibility for the safe development lies primarily with the developer. The council will also discuss with the developer their production of a transport plan to avoid or limit construction/delivery related traffic during drop off and pick up times at the school and will continue to monitor the situation.”

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton


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