School could face action over classrooms built without planning permission

New modular classrooms have been added to Angel Road Infant School without planning permission

New modular classrooms have been added to Angel Road Infant School without planning permission - Credit: Julie Brociek-Coulton

A school could face enforcement action after new mobile classrooms were added to the site without planning permission.

Building work on the new modular structures has already started at Angel Road Infant School, in Norwich.

The classrooms are being added as part of plans to move all pupils from the neighbouring Angel Road Junior School to the infant site in September.

However, the Evolution Academy Trust, which runs both schools, is yet to receive the go-ahead from city planners for the project to go ahead.

Instead, it is hoping to receive retrospective planning permission will be granted for the scheme - having previously withdrawn an application to expand the site.

Lynsey Holzer, chief executive of the Trust, said planning applications for the new buildings were submitted in May.

However, a spokesman for Norwich City Council said the application was not received until yesterday, June 7.

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Ms Holzer added: "We have some modular classrooms under construction. We submitted planning permission for these during May. The planning agreement will be retrospective due to the very short timelines of the project."

Lynsey Holzer, chief executive of Evolution Academy Trust and interim chief executive of Diversa Mul

Lynsey Holzer, chief executive of Evolution Academy Trust and interim chief executive of Diversa Multi Academy Trust. Picture: Lynsey Holzer - Credit: Lynsey Holzer

However, if retrospective permission is not granted, the school could face enforcement action and be forced to remove them.

It comes after other mobile classrooms were added to the site last year to accommodate some of the children from the closed junior school site - which were also only approved by the council retrospectively.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for Sewell.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for Sewell. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Julie Brockieck-Coulton, city and county councillor for the Sewell ward, said: "The whole way this has been handled is shambolic, with parents and the local community left in the dark.

"The clock is ticking now and children still don't know where they will be educated in September.

"There aren't enough facilities to safely cater for children from both schools, especially in the hall at lunch times.

"Poor planning on the part of EAT doesn't mean that they can just ignore planning law and start erecting classrooms without the proper permission. I have still seen nothing that convinces me that the junior school isn't a viable site.

"It should be brought back into use rather than wasting millions of pounds and raiding budgets from their other schools to hand it back to the county council."

The councillor had raised an objection due to overcrowding concerns to the recent planning application that was subsequently withdrawn.