Religious group wins Baginton free school fight with residents

Coventry Telegraph, UK/March 17, 2014

By Georgia Arlott

A religous group has won a long-running planning battle to build a free school in Baginton.

The Plymouth Brethren school is now set to be built behind Holly Walk in the village.

After a long battle with local residents, the plans have finally been rubber stamped by Warwick District Council’s planning committee.

But the proposals were only granted subject to conditions relating to wildlife protection, noise pollution and building and road access planning.

Residents in the picturesque village have long fought to keep the Green Belt land free from development.

But the council considered that – after plans had been amended – the building of a school constituted a special exception to Green Belt restrictions.

Many residents are unhappy about the decision.

Richard and Kerry Hooper moved to Holly Walk two years ago.

Kerry, 42, said: “We came to the village because it’s such a lovely, rural area. We wanted to be somewhere more rural. This is shocking news.”

Hazel and Malcolm Tracey live opposite the field on which the school will be sited.

Malcolm, aged 83, said he was furious about the plans for the school.

He said: “The planning officer says the school won’t do any harm, but it’s a disgrace.  I’m concerned about the amount of wildlife that we’ll lose.

“We get cuckoos, screech owls, badgers and foxes, and they will all go. The council haven’t listened to any of us.

“Only four out of ten of the planning committee have actually visited the site. It’s wrong.”

He and Hazel have concerns about the effect the new school could have on Baginton’s friendly community.

Malcolm said: “It wouldn’t make a difference to me what religion they were. But the Brethren will not buy houses that have a sewer that connects to another house.

“They won’t eat with us, they won’t invite us into their homes, and they won’t come into ours.

“They will never be villagers – when they come, they’ll keep to themselves.”

Hazel added: “I don’t know why they need to build the school right on top of people’s houses.

“They’ve got land next to their church in the village. Why do they have to upset the villagers?”

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.

Educational DVDs and Videos