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Fury as new studio school approved in college grounds
PLANS for a new studio school in the grounds of a Bournemouth college have been approved, despite a wave of objections.
Following a heated council planning board meeting, Oakmead College of Technology was granted permission for a two-storey building on its Duck Lane site.
It is hoped that the North Bournemouth Learning and Ach-ievement Foundation Studio School will cut the town’s number of NEETS – young people not in education, employment or training – by offering vocational training to 16 to 18-year-olds.
It will increase the capacity of the Oakmead campus from 1,500 to 1,700 students.
Angry residents joined forces to oppose the scheme, claiming a new access road on Holloway Avenue was dangerous.
Representing residents, Ian Collier said: “We are not opposed to the college having these buildings; we are strongly objecting to the proposed location.
“Access is a genuine concern, both for people in the area as well as staff and students. It’s only 50 metres from Ringwood Road.”
Mr Collier added that congestion was already a problem in the Holloway Road area. Objections were also voiced over noise, litter, loss of privacy and the effect the new school would have on wildlife including bats, adders and slow worms.
Senior planning officer Charles Raven stressed that the site had been allocated for community use and would be well screened by existing vegetation and mature trees.
Vice-chairman Ron Whittaker said: “I can understand the concerns of residents; Holloway Road is very, very busy.”
Cllr Roger West said residents were “very passionate” about their area, adding: “The noise from Ringwood Road is quite considerable.”
Cllr Johann Edward said the new building looked “great,” adding: “I don’t think there is enough vocational training.”
After a move by Cllr West to grant approval for the scheme was carried, furious campaigner Annie Hunter shouted: “You are going to kill children; you are disgusting.”