Noise concerns at school merger

A PROPOSED merger between two primary schools in Maltby looks set to be turned down.

Monday, 20th February 2012, 3:30 pm

Dozens of letters of objection have been sent to Rotherham Council over plans to merge Lilly Hall Junior School and Maltby Hall Infant School on the Lilly Hall site.

And in a report to the council’s planning board, officers have recommended the plans to be refused.

The proposals would see extensions to Lilly Hall Junior School, the creation of a multi-use games area, extension and alterations to a car park and a new pedestrian access.

But officials feel the plans should be turned down because the new outdoor play facility would cause ‘unacceptable levels of noise nuisance/pollution’ to residents of Lilly Hall Road.

Maltby Hall Infant School is beyond economical repair and is due to close in September next year.

The plans are set to be discussed by Rotherham Council’s planning board on Thursday 23rd February.

A report to the board recommends that the proposals be rejected.

It states: “Taking account all of the above, it is accepted that the principle of building a new school on the site is acceptable, and that the impact on the local environment including access arrangements, highway safety, protected species and landscaping has been thoroughly evaluated and considered in detail and the benefits to the community of building a new school is considered to outweigh the impact on the environment on these matters.”

“It is however considered that the failure to adequately address the impact upon the amenities of nearby resident owing to the location and proximity of the proposed play area and the limited mitigation measures proposed cannot outweigh the benefit of the scheme, and it is for this reason that the proposal is therefore recommended for refusal.”

The council has received 13 letters of objections to the plans, while 46 householders had returned an slip taken from an objection letter prepared by residents.

Objections included concerns on the amenities for local residents by adding to the road congestion and building the noisiest part of the development just 4.5metres from homes.

Maltby Town Council said it has received numerous complaints about the plans and that many residents are upset at what they think is a ‘done deal.’

The town council said, according to the report, that the first it knew about the plans, or about consultation letters being sent to nearby residents, was went people started complaining about the plans.

“The council believes that the residents of Maltby have been badly served on this occasion and would request a second and more comprehensive consultation be undertaken to incorporate the views of the wider community.”

After the council received these comments, amended plans and further neighbour notifications were made and 25 more letters of objection were sent to the council.

Five people are expected to speak at the planning board meeting - three from objectors who live along Lilly Hall Road and two in support from the head teachers of both schools.