'New £5million primary school will end up looking like a motorway services'
PUBLISHED: 11:55 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:34 19 June 2019
Plans for a new £5million primary school have been altered to protect a Roman burial ground, but critics have slated the 'horrendous' look of the proposed building.
Planning permission for a school at Yatton's North End has been secured, but before construction can begin accepted layouts must be produced.
But an 'agricultural' looking hall and North Somerset Council's decision to move the school buildings closer to homes to protect an archaeological site drew criticism from Yatton Parish Council on Monday evening.
Cllr Caroline Sheard said: "It feels like it (North Somerset Council) is trying to rush this through. All the implications need to be considered."
The school will be situated within Bloor Homes' housing estate off Arnolds Way and North Somerset is aiming for it to open in September 2020.
Neighbours say the proposed positioning of the school is different to what they were once told and it will be just 15 metres from their properties and want it pushed back.
But the parish council meeting was told the main school building and hall can only sit on certain parts of the site because underneath the ground is an area of archaeological importance.
Chris Jackson, chairman of the planning committee, told fellow parish councillors the estimated cost of excavating the site would be 'six figures' and experts do not have the funding.
Further concerns were raised over the designs for the school, with the hall suitable for playtimes and sport attracting plenty of negative feedback.
Cllr Jill Iles described it as 'horrendous', while Cllr Jackson compared the school drawings to a 'motorway services'.
Cllr David Crossman added: "It looks like an agricultural building. I fully support the neighbours in getting the planners to move it (the school) back at least 10 metres. It's obvious going to affect the amount of light."
Parish councillors voted not to support the appearance and layout put forward by North Somerset Council, although the latter will have the final say.
Members though did stress the importance of a new school to the village, with Cllr Jackson warning there may not be enough places for pupils to receive their education in Yatton by 2020-21 without one.