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Approval granted to expand three Havering schools

11:13 21 March 2013

Cllr Damian White

Cllr Damian White

Archant

Three Havering schools are set for expansion to fend off a crisis of available places.

Permission was granted to expand Towers Infant School, Osborne Road, Hornchurch, Harold Court Primary School, Church Road, Harold Wood and Rise Park Infants School in Annan Way at the regulatory services committee meeting on Thursday of last week.

Towers School will get a single storey extension for three new classrooms and an extension to its carpark.

Harold Court will be given a single storey extension to the existing office at the front of the school, an extension for four new classrooms and a new car park.

Rise Park will get a single storey extension, an outside play area and six extra parking spaces.

All three plans were passed unanimously by the committee. Cllr Damian White (Conservative, Hylands) who isn’t on the panel, spoke against the Towers plan.

He said: “In January I held a public meeting which over 80 residents attended and carried out a traffic survey with more than 300 responses.

“The overwhelming majority of residents in the area around Towers School are opposed to it. Traffic is at a standstill when parents drop-off or collect their children.”

Committee member Cllr Jeffrey Brace (Conservative, Elm Park) replied: “If you travel down Osborne Road you see a little bit of inconvenience for about 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon.”

He said it would be too complicated to install traffic calming measures in the street and it would affect residents.

The council had begun tendering for the contract to build the extension at Towers Infant School prior to the meeting.

Resident Lorraine Moss asked the Recorder: “What’s the point of having the committee meeting if they have already put the contracts out to tender?”

Cllr Steven Kelly, deputy council leader, said: “The scale of these projects mean that we work to really close, tight deadlines, so to make sure we were on track we began the tender process while we applied for planning permission.

“The contract was always dependent on planning permission being granted.”

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