25.5 C
New York
Monday, April 15, 2024

Sir Roger Manwood School’s bid to build house on Sandwich grounds to raise funds snubbed after backlash

A cash-strapped school’s controversial plans to build a house on its land in a bid to make money have been thrown out.

Dover District Council (DDC) planning chiefs thwarted Sir Roger Manwood School’s divisive proposals to construct a four-bedroom detached on its Sandwich grounds.

The house proposed by Sir Roger Manwood's School in Sandwich. Picture: The One Architecture, as seen on the Dover District Council planning portalThe house proposed by Sir Roger Manwood's School in Sandwich. Picture: The One Architecture, as seen on the Dover District Council planning portal
The house proposed by Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich. Picture: The One Architecture, as seen on the Dover District Council planning portal

The grammar hoped to use funds generated by the new home to plough into ageing and ailing facilities.

Urging the planning committee to approve the move on Thursday, governor Andrew Rush stressed the school “is facing significant financial pressures”.

“We have ageing buildings and sports facilities in desperate and urgent need of renewal,” he said

“There is no realistic prospect for a school like Manwood’s of external capital funding so like many schools, we have had to take a look at our land and our assets.

“This is never our first choice but we do so to move the school forward.”

Mr Rush pointed the finger at the school’s existing old buildings and much-needed upgrades for sports facilities, while arguing there was no other sources of funding.

He said several of the properties already along that end of St Georges Road are built on land formerly owned by the school.

He continued: “This application is by no means unusual or unprecedented. Every penny of income generated from this project goes back to the school. This will be to improve our sports facilities and our new artificial pitches.

Sir Roger Manwood's School in Sandwich. Library picture: Wayne McCabe for KMGSir Roger Manwood's School in Sandwich. Library picture: Wayne McCabe for KMG
Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich. Library picture: Wayne McCabe for KMG

“We have made this application because we have no other funding streams available. All income raised by the school from this project will go back to improving our sports facilities for the benefit of our students and for the wider community of Sandwich.”

The school hoped sale of the land for housing would have contributed to the £1.002,051.69 needed to develop a full-sized astroturf pitch.

This would also be paid for by selling the residential caretaker’s house as the school is no longer a boarding one.

But planning chiefs rejected the application because the site is a designated open space off the medieval town’s St George’s Road.

Cllr Jeff Loffman said: “I’ve a great deal of sympathy for the school and its financial position but this is open space that has been identified.”

Cllr Helen Williams added: “We cannot consider the financial side of things. I am concerned about the open space and the loss of biodiversity.”

Cllr Helen Williams. Picture: Dover District CouncilCllr Helen Williams. Picture: Dover District Council
Cllr Helen Williams. Picture: Dover District Council
Cllr James Back. Picture: Dover District CouncilCllr James Back. Picture: Dover District Council
Cllr James Back. Picture: Dover District Council

“We are losing green space here, a community play area,” said Cllr Nicholas Kenton.

Planning officers had recommended approval of the application but Cllr James Back said: “I move to refuse on the grounds that this is designed green space.”

That was voted for by seven with two abstentions.

A total 75 members of the public had sent in written objections to the scheme.

They were also concerned about a loss of green space and feared overlooking and loss of privacy for neighbouring homes.

They voiced worries about construction vehicles near the school entrance and drop off points leading to congestion.

However there were 16 letters from the public supporting the scheme.

These people said this would not affect the operation of the school and it was no longer using the land.

They also agreed it would help in the development of the sports pitch.

Source link

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

0FansLike
0FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles