Rauceby School drop-off car park plans rejected by councillors

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A 50-space car park proposed to relieve traffic congestion caused by parents parking outside a village school has been refused by district councillors in line with officers’ recommendation.

The outline plans by Irelands’ Farms Limited, would have seen the 50-space community facility accessed from Drove Lane, in North Rauceby.

They also wanted to build a residential development, unconfirmed plans for which show five large houses, off Tom Lane. The proposed residential development would have been used to fund and maintain the proposed 50-space car park.

The application was refused - eight votes for refusal, one against and five abstentions.

The development had supportive comments from 31 people, including the head teacher of Rauceby Church of England Primary School David Wallace, who said: “The construction of the community car-park will go a long way to alleviating the traffic congestion that we see outside our school, particularly at drop-off and pick-up times.

“With parents parking and the road being used as a cut through by much traffic, including HGVs, the road outside our school can become a very congested, dangerous place for all members of our school family.”

Parent Andrew Mack said: “I regularly see the chaos that the lack of proper parking causes on what is, essentially, a small country lane which was never designed to support the weight of traffic that uses it on a twice-daily basis.

“If the situation is not remedied soon, then it is a matter of when, rather than if, there is a serious accident, possibly including fatal injury to a small child with all the associated pain and recrimination that would bring.”

North Rauceby Parish Council also supported the application, though they asked for restrictions on the hours the car park would have been used to prevent anto-social behaviour.

The applicant also highlighted the car park could provide wider community benefit including for walkers using the Stepping Out walk which passes through the site.

Officers at North Kesteven District Council however, said the benefits of the plans “would not outweigh the harm caused” and advised councillors to refuse the application at the planning sub-committee meeting last night (Tuesday).

They agreed with the three nearby objectors who said the nearby roads are inadequate and who claim the distance to the car park would mean it would have little impact on reducing parent parking outside the school unless parking restrictions are imposed on Tom Lane.

They added the development would “intrude on the rural setting” of the village and would be in “open countryside”.

Officers argued new housing would affect the countryside nature of the setting, away from the main centre of the village, while the car park would be little used for much of the day and also affect the character.

Rauceby Primary School itself has an application for a pre-school building and 30-space car park within its grounds still to be determined.