Fate of major high school expansion to be sealed amid traffic fears
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
Road improvements will be made around a high school if expansion plans are given the go ahead.
Members of Norfolk County Council's planning committee will be scrutinising the council's application to build a new teaching block at Ormiston Victory Academy on Middleton Crescent, Costessey later today.
It has been recommended for approval, as long as highway improvements are done, and if built it would include 14 classrooms to allow the school to teach an extra 300 11-16-year-olds, taking its capacity to 1,500.
The plans have attracted opposition from 13 people because of concerns of extra traffic on the surrounding streets including Richmond Road, Middleton Crescent, East Hill Road and, Longdell Hills.
Other worries included the new three-storey block overshadowing nearby homes.
Costessey county councillor Tim East said the plans should be approved but with traffic mitigation measures.
He said: "I have concerns over the loss of grassed areas used for exercise as the wellbeing of children is important, although I understood the need to expand provision to cater for more school students. The major concern I have is over the extra traffic which would be generated in a congested area.
"The opportunities for pick-up and set-down of pupils within the school grounds is welcomed."
His concerns were shared by Costessey Town Council.
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Sport England had no objections if football pitches were protected on the school's green space.
The council's highway authority said the school benefited from good walking and cycle links.
It added the extra 42 car parking spaces and 60 cycle spaces proposed would accommodate the extra 42 full-time equivalent staff needed for the school.
Highways said double yellow lines should be painted, mainly around Richmond Road junctions, and an improved crossing should be built on Richmond Road.
Planning documents said the block would be screened from houses with trees.
Naomi Palmer, principal for Ormiston Victory Academy, said: “These exciting new plans will transform life at the academy for the better. With more space, as well as outstanding creative facilities, we will be able to expand our support for the young people of Costessey and beyond."