Fears over children’s health halts primary school plans
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Plans to build a primary school in Somerset have been opposed due to concerns about children’s health caused by traffic-related pollution.
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council believes there will be an 'adverse effect on young people's health' attending a school next to a section of the A38 - which may cause breathing conditions such as asthma.
Members discussed the plans at a meeting on May 22 where other comments were raised about road safety, young people's wellbeing and sustainable transport.
Developer Barratt Homes is seeking permission from Sedgemoor District Council to build 171 homes, a primary school, roundabout and public open space at the site in Highbridge's Huntspill Road.
Barratt Homes is now looking to obtain outline planning to build the school to the south east of the site, where up to 550 homes could be built.
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The company also wants to win full planning for the two to four-bedroom homes after it gained outline permission last year.
It was the second time town councillors have considered the application, and they highlighted the proposed access off the A38 Main Road as likely to lead to traffic congestion around school during its start and finishing times.
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They said this was likely to result in 'significant road safety issues' caused by cars parked on both sides of the road when parents drop off and pick-up their children.
Members also mentioned the poor location of the school, which may cause young people to suffer from breathing in air of 'reduced quality' due to its proximity to the A38, adding 'especially when the road congested'.
They also said the area where the school is planned for would be more appropriate for pedestrian and cycle access.
However, members accepted the application in principle as the layout and density consists with the plan's previously agreed-to phases.
The council said the proposals comply with parking standards, but members would like to see more visitor parking at the site, in addition to the 344 spaces already allocated for in the development.
Sedgemoor will decided if the plans go ahead.
For more information about the plans, visit www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/planning_online under planning number 52/19/00001.