Conservation officer says school’s plan for new housing should be ‘resisted’

PUBLISHED: 12:29 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:29 02 July 2018

Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport. Picture: Saffron Photo

Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport. Picture: Saffron Photo

SaffronPhoto 2016

A planning application for 24 houses on land at Joyce Frankland Academy in Newport has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

The plans for the houses were submitted on March 15 by developers Hill Residential Ltd and the Joyce Frankland Trust and include car and cycle parking, acoustic fencing, construction of a new multi-use games area and floodlights, replacement floodlighting to an existing artificial turf pitch and construction of new courts for tennis and netball.

The site of the application adjoins the conservation area of the historic village of Newport.

The comment from UDC’s conservation officer, Barbara Bosworth, said: “I consider that the suggested intensive development would seriously diminish the quality of the area.

“Although high level of modern development has taken place in Newport already, the northern end of the village still maintains its historic linier pattern. Development of the above land would further dilute the historic plan of the village.”

The conservation officer concluded by suggesting the proposal should be “resisted”.

Newport Parish Council voiced objections to the plans on 17 grounds, which included the site not being included in the Uttlesford local plan and the need for improved infrastructure before development takes place.

In consultation with the council, John Garrett, a parent of a student at the academy, supported the application and disagreed with the parish council’s objection.

He said: “The buildings and facilities at the school are in a poor state and need to be improved. Funding must be found to upgrade classrooms and equipment and the sale of unused land for development seems to be a very sensible way to achieve the injection required to benefit students and the local community alike.”

Martyn Webb also wrote a letter of support to the council and said: “I am the chairman of Saffron Walden Hockey Club and have been a member since 1970. I have seen the club grow and provide a great environment for children and adults to learn to play hockey.

“We currently have more than 300 juniors and run 14 adult teams, catering for all needs and requirements. The additional pitch would allow the club to accommodate the waiting lists we have and provide a fantastic facility for not just hockey but sport in the vicinity.”

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