Garages in Long Lawford that have been a magnet for anti-social behaviour are to be pulled down and replaced with a drop-off zone for a neighbouring school.
But there are concerns that the area behind shops in Holbrook Road and opposite Long Lawford Primary School will be used as an extra car park with no room being left for parents.
Councillors at this week’s (Tuesday June 4) regulatory committee of Warwickshire County Council were told that permission to extend the school was granted on the condition of creating the drop-off places. The new classrooms are set to be occupied from September.
Neighbours to the garages, which have been unused for a number of years, were concerned there could be asbestos in the garages and a report to the meeting explained that this would be removed by a specialist company before the site was resurfaced and the entrance from Holbrook Road widened to take two cars.
Planning officer Sally Panayi explained 23 parking spaces would be marked out with signs explaining that the area should be reserved for parents on the school run.
And she added that objections made over the height of the perimeter fence had been overcome with a 2.2 metre acoustic fence - the same height as the garages which are to be knocked down. Access to a number of properties from the site will also be retained.
Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince pointed out: “It is being designed as a school drop-off and pick-up and yet we cannot ensure that is what it is going to get used for because 23 cars locally could not be parked on the road but parked in the car park.”
Cllr Heather Timms asked if an extra security camera could be installed to add to ones already covering the entrance and the footpath through the site which are monitored by Rugby First on behalf of Rugby Borough Council but it was explained that a privacy impact assessment would be required which would in turn delay the application.
Councillors voted to grant planning permission with Cllr Bill Gifford adding: “It seems perfectly reasonable. The impression I get is that we are removing garages that look as though they are attracting anti-social behaviour whereas a car park will be much less attractive.
“The height of the fencing is going to replicate the height of the back wall of the garages and we all know that schools and parking are an issue.”