School car park expansion set for approval despite resident’s worries

Objector: Leslie Labadie has concerns at plans to create a school car park on this playing field
Objector: Leslie Labadie has concerns at plans to create a school car park on this playing field
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Plans to create a school car park on a grassed area behind Penistone homes is being recommended for approval by planners after the original proposals were redrawn following complaints from residents.

St John’s Primary School is expanding in size to cope with increased demand from a growing community in the area and as a result has applied for permission to turn a grassed area behind homes on High Street into park facilities.

Several residents raised concerns about the impact on that on their homes, along with Penistone Town Council highlighting the loss of a green space in the area.

Plans were amended as a result, with the application going before members of the council’s planning board at the request of Coun Dave Griffin and MP Angela Smith.

Parking around the school has been a long standing issue, expected to get worse as a result of increased numbers of pupils and staff and the development is seen as a solution to that problem.

However, complaints have included issues over the loss of privacy for those adjoining the site, light pollution, the impact on wildlife and the loss of trees.

Penistone West Coun Hannah Kitching has supported the application, telling the planning board: “‘While it is never ideal to build car parks on green space I feel that the staff parking situation at St John’s school is unsustainable and action needs to be taken.

“I receive frequent complaints from the residents surrounding the school about staff and visitors parking in front of their homes.

“The driveway to the junior school is littered with cars, impeding visibility and creating safety issues for people attending both the school and the car home.

“I understand that all other options have been explored thoroughly,” she said.

If approved, the area will create 29 new parking bays, with two for use by the disabled.

The planning application would also generate a payment of £18,000 to compensate for the loss of green space, with Coun Kitching suggesting that could be spent on improving a children’s play area at Penistone showground.