Academy scheme is deferred again

Central Tech College building problems.

Central Tech College building problems.

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PLANNING permission for the new state-of-the-art Priory Ruskin Academy, in Rushcliffe Road, Grantham, was deferred for a third time on Tuesday after residents raised concerns over access to the site during construction.

The latest deferral by Lincolnshire County Council’s planning and regulation committee came about to allow the developers to look into the possibility of using Running Furrows, off North Parade, as a second access route to the site.

Clive Shepherd, who is headteacher at the academy, which is currently split between sites in Queensway and Rushcliffe Road, was disappointed to hear about the deferral.

He said: “I was really hoping it would go through this time. We are very disappointed.

“We will keep on moving forward with the project but I imagine this will delay the opening of the new building. I wouldn’t have thought it will be by a huge amount.”

The plans for the new £13.5m academy, which is to be built next to the former Central Technology and Sports College buildings, were submitted at the end of last year and first came before the planning committee in February.

Residents in the area are not opposed to the building of the academy but they are concerned about construction traffic access to the school, which is limited to a single route - Rushcliffe Road.

They say that traffic is already bad enough in the area with school children getting to and from the site.

Coun Ray Wootten, who represents the ward, spoke in support of deferring the application.

He said: “The planning committee listened to the residents’ concerns and complaints. The residents have been reassured by that. They are making sure the plans are best for the residents and the school children.

“I know the residents want the building to go ahead.”

Executive Councillor for Children’s Services at the county council Debbie Barnes said they are currently looking at an alternative access route for construction traffic.

She said: “We are committed to the redevelopment programme for the benefit of young people and staff at the Priory Ruskin Academy. We don’t envisage any additional costs as a result of the delay but if an extra access route is agreed there will be some additional costs for this part of the scheme.”

The application will go back before the committee on May 8.