County to act over school plans mix-up

CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council is applying for retrospective planning consent for school outbuildings in Buckden after it got the original plans wrong. As a result, neighbours complained that the buildings are much nearer their properties than they were le

CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council is applying for retrospective planning consent for school outbuildings in Buckden after it got the original plans wrong.

As a result, neighbours complained that the buildings are much nearer their properties than they were led to believe when they were shown the plans last summer.

The council insists the buildings were put up in the right place - it was the position of the neighbours' homes that was wrong.

Janice Lowther, who lives with her husband Ray in School Lane, Buckden, complains that a double garage, timber workshop and cycle store have been built within four metres of the boundary of her property.


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"We have been left with buildings going completely across the back of our garden, bike sheds where there was supposed to be hedging, and nothing whatsoever relates to the original plans served on us," she said.

"We have simply been told that, not only have amended plans not been correctly carried out in that only four metres of the double garage should be across the rear of our garden, instead of six metres, but that the school cannot afford to relocate the buildings in accordance with either the original or amended plans."

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She said the only amendments drawn to their attention had been changes in parking provision at the front of the school.

"The fencing makes it look like a concentration camp. It's hideous. It's literally across our back fence where previously we looked out over school fields. That was one of the few pleasures of living near a school.

"They were going to plant hedging to shield the children from the car parking, but they have put sheds there instead. I believe we were deliberately not told what the impact would be on us.

"And I don't understand why a school wants a double garage."

A county council spokesman said the "double garage" was a large shed for storage because there was limited storage space in the school.

"The workshop (which is a large timber shed mainly for storage) was built exactly where it was supposed to be on the plans. Neighbours were shown these plans," he said.

"The problem lies around the relative positions of the neighbouring properties, which weren't quite right on the county council plans. The planning officer who came to check the site decided that, to be completely proper, they needed to submit new plans for retrospective planning permission.

"The school has made every effort to talk to neighbours and keep them informed at all stages of this project, and would be very happy to have further discussions if neighbours feel this would be helpful.

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