NEWS

New buildings given go ahead at Gloucestershire primary school

Part of a Stroud Primary school will be demolished and three new classrooms built after an application was given approval by the County Council’s Planning Committee.

The application, presented on behalf of Gloucestershire Council, includes the demolition and replacement of the concrete Elliot classrooms at Thrupp Primary School near Stroud.The buildings had been judged unfit for use after a recent survey found them dangerous and unaccessible due to their location.

The plans for the new building site on the middle playground also includes the removal of a 22 metre timber shelter, timber fencing and play equipment.

Aerial view showing the current 1875 school building, the middle playground and the Reynolds' neighbouring house.
Aerial view showing the current 1875 school building, the middle playground, current Elliot classrooms and the Reynolds’ neighbouring house.

Whilst planning officer’s recommendations suggested the plans should be approved by the committee, neighbouring residents Mr & Mrs Reynolds, whose property is directly adjacent to the school, were disappointed with the outcome.

“hope to get back to our happy lives.”

Speaking to the committee Mrs Reynolds said: “We have been full supporters of the school for 40 years. What we are most annoyed about is the lack of information that we were told in the first place. Stroud District Council thought I had agreed to the plans, but I had not. The information about the proposal should have been available to us from day one, but it wasn’t. The planning department really need to look at how they deal with people in the future.”

Mr Reynolds added: “The existing Elliot classrooms have been there for 41 and 25 years – why can’t they be replaced on their current location, which is tucked away in the trees, instead of the proposed middle tier? That’s what we been asking for since the beginning.”

His wife ended by saying: “We will try to move forward from this and hope to get back to our happy lives.”

thrupp-school-web-pic-2

June Pritchard, Headteacher of Thrupp Primary School said: “The current location of the Elliot classrooms is unsuitable and can only be accessed via a steep 1 in 6 lane or steps, proving it impossible for some. If the plans to build on the middle tier were agreed to, this would result in better safeguarding for the children as all classrooms could be accessible from the main gate. We have a duty of care to our children and it’s of imperative importance we take this opportunity.”

The school’s governors had reported to the meeting that whilst an active strategy group had been working on building plans for the school, it was struggling to meet building regulations and hoped that the “fantastic opportunity” would save waiting for another 10 years.

“tremendous sadness”

Parent governor Mark Clubb added it was a “tremendous sadness we are at odds with our nearest neighbours.”

Discussing the proposal, Councillor Simon Wheeler said “One of my main concerns was the lack of information the Reynolds had received. Good information and discussions amongst neighbours means insurmountable problems can be overcome.”  He went on to praise the plans and the site saying it was “a much safer place to build” and echoing the evidence that the new build would be a learning space not “noisy” playing area.

Ward Councillor for Brimscombe and Thrupp Stan Waddington said: “he was satisfied that the concerns of Mr and Mrs Reynolds had been met sufficiently and the school dictates the need for the improvements.”

The decision was carried on a majority basis, with one councillor objecting.

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