140 letters of objection had been received and a petition of 453 names signalled to members of the planning committee the degree of community concern about the proposed development.
Compelling representations against the proposal were made by both Cllr Jane Baugh and Cllr Barry Brotherton, who have been extremely supportive of the campaign against the development, and by Rachael Lewis whose house adjoins the property.
A represenatation for the the proposal was made by Andrew Titterton of AEW Architects on behalf of the owner, Michael McHale of Maple Leaf Developments.
Cllr Jane Baugh drew attention to the fact that the existing house is unnecessarily in a poor state of repair due to neglect and this could have been prevented by the owner.
A very lively debate followed with members of both parties arguing the merits for and against the application. Some members felt that the development had to be a certain size to 'pay' for itself, however, the majority decision was that it was too big a development for the site, would cause unnecessary loss of amenity to the immediate residents, and that despite the late amendment to increase car parking spaces on the site, increased on-street parking would be a serious issue opposite the school and on this 'tight junction'. Much mention was made of the 140 letters of objection and public concern for loss of street scene. It was also hotly debated whether the industrial style external polished concrete frame to the building would be in keeping with the local area.
Despite, recomendations from Simon Castle, Head of Planning to Grant the application members voted overwhelmingly to REFUSE on the grounds of overmassing, loss of amenity and street scene.
On leaving the building the Architects stated that they will go to Appeal.