A SCHOOL for up to 18 autistic children in Bromsgrove has been given the go-ahead after councillors unanimously approved the plans on Monday, August 5.
Bromsgrove District Council officers had previously recommended councillors refuse the plans for the school on Lokrum Fields, Copyholt Lane, near Stoke Pound.
They said it would be an inappropriate development on Green Belt land and had ‘poor transport links’, despite admitting Bromsgrove was in dire need of a school like it.
The school, originally put forward by applicant Alison Chalmers, is expected to be finished by early next year.
It will be open between 7.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday and will be closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Headless Cross resident Claire Davies said: “Using the excuse of Green Belt is poor, especially given there is the popular Queens Head pub just down the road, and various new houses in the vicinity too.”
Finstall resident Julie Street agreed, saying: “This is an absolute necessity it will help support those wonderful young people with their education and their lives.”
A petition asking for the plans to be approved reached just under 1,600 signatures.
It was set up by mum Helen Toone Rosewell, who has an autistic daughter.
On the petition page she said: “The area needs this school.
“Very pleased to say the council made the right choice and we won.
“Thank you to everyone for your support.”
However not everyone agreed with the scheme, which will see an extended bungalow and associated buildings turned into a classroom for up to 18 children with autism.
Copyholt Lane residents Eileen Tolley and her husband John said they are concerned for student safety due to the narrow roads in the area and tractors using the lanes all year round.
Details of a mini-bus service to the school will be submitted to Bromsgrove District Council in the near future.