A running battle between the diocese of Gloucester and residents of Clearwater Drive reaches its climax on Tuesday when a planning inspector reviews a previous refusal of permission to build a school in the community.
Residents of the community are opposed to plans by the Diocese of Gloucester and the Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust to erect a two-storey structure intended to provide adequate classroom space for 420 pupils, a nursery to accommodate toddlers and a car park.
The opposition of the community’s residents stemmed from their apprehension about a potential forfeiture of the open space, increased traffic and potential hostility between the parents and the residents. A protest ensued, with the backing of Mark Hawthorne, the leader of Gloucestershire County Council.
Andrew Lewis, the Gloucester City Councillor, had last year dismissed the building application and censured the application process. The refusal had been turbulent.
Among the voices at variance with the standing decision, there is the opinion that the proposed site would be better utilized housing the proposed school facilities and the general outcry is largely baseless. But a bearer of this opinion also suggests that the Diocese would have done better to have carried out more robust consultation before venturing out with their proposal.
On the other side of the chasm is a conviction on the unsuitability of the proposed site for a school, with references to its small area.
As this all winds down at a public inquiry slated for 10am on Tuesday, November 27 in Gloucester Docks, all lingering questions should be answered and hopefully the duelling voices stilled.