Upper Norwood residents oppose building plan for special needs children
PLANS to create a new building for special needs children in Upper Norwood have come under fire.
Residents insist they have no objections to the pupils, but feel the proposed development would be out of keeping with the area.
The new Priory School, in Hermitage Road, would be three-storeys high – replacing the existing single-storey building – and residents say it would spoil their views of the woodland.
Bob Dean, 52, of Hermitage Road, said: "The residents want it known that they are not opposed to the usage, but are opposed to the planned development due to the destruction of trees and woodland that is traceable back to the Domesday book."
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Jennifer Sanderson, 61, of Hermitage Road, said: "Nobody has ever objected to the Priory children. We're concerned about the height of the building."
Planning permission has already been granted to a housing development on woodland currently owned by Virgo Fidelis School, in Central Hill, Upper Norwood.
It is understood the council hopes to strike a deal under which Virgo Fidelis transfers some of its woodland to the Priory School in order to provide a road to the new homes.
Residents have also expressed concern about creating this public road.
Upper Norwood ward councillor Pat Ryan said: "Should this application go ahead, it will destroy the historic Great North Wood and threaten various protected species including badgers, sparrows and woodpeckers.
"Common sense must prevail."
The council aims to build a 132-place Priory School in Hermitage Road and move pupils from unsuitable premises at Tennison Road, South Norwood.
A decision on the application is expected to be made by the beginning of August.