Go ahead for dormitories

COUNCILLORS have approved plans for the building of two controversial dormitory blocks at Rastrick Independent School.

The new blocks will house 22 boarders who currently live away from the private school, on Ogden Lane, Rastrick.

Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee had deferred the decision from a previous meeting after concerns were raised about parking, open space and increased traffic.

Councillor Ann McAllister (Con, Rastrick) spoke in objection to the plans criticising the approach of the planning committee.

She said: “There is absolutely no parking. How previous applications were satisfactory is a complete mystery to me. Peak time school traffic is an absolute nightmare.

“Complaints and concerns have been disregarded and dismissed.”

Resident John Leach, spoke at the meeting. He said that parking was a major issue, with staff taking up roadside parking throughout Rastrick, and claimed the close proximity of the proposed dormitories to his house was in breach of planning legislation.

A report to the committee and an agent for the school said that there would be no increase in traffic as the numbers of pupils was not increasing.

However, Coun McAllister described this assertion as “disingenuous”.

The decision to approve the plans was not an easy one with a split decision from committee members. They voted in favour four to two. Committee member Coun David Hardy said he sympathised with residents but he couldn’t see any planning reason to object.