Gillotts School have submitted a planning application to install a new perimeter fence to make the school site secure.
In the application, it states, “The school site is accessible from every side due to poor or non-existent fencing. We have had several recorded incidents of non-students coming on to the school site. We are bidding for government funding to install fencing and gates along the front elevation of the school, down the bridlepath, along the playing fields/farmers’ fields and up Gillotts Lane. The height will be no more than 2m high and will be a bow top and twin wire mesh fence.
At the Henley Town Council Planning Meeting, the Committee unanimously recommended refusal on the grounds of visual impact on the character of the area, the effect on local wildlife and proximity of the fence to the footpath.
14 neighbouring residents have written to object. Stephen Morton from Blandy Road said, “I fully support the intention of Gillotts School to secure the school from outsiders, but as drawn the fence on their northern boundary appears to run directly alongside the Peppard Lane bridleway, and would impose a 2.4m high metal structure on what is currently a pleasant rural path on the edge of the town. I therefore oppose the location of the proposed fence where it runs alongside Peppard Lane (marked “FOOT PATH 555M” in pink on the blockplan).”
Forestry Officer for South Oxfordshire District Council) in this report said, “The construction of the fences and gates will be very close to a large number of the trees growing along the boundaries of the site. Fences and gates could be constructed but particular care will be needed in siting the positions of the fence/gate posts to avoid any major tree roots. To address the this, prior to the commencement of any site works or operations relating to the development (including demolition and site clearance) hereby permitted, an arboricultural method statement to ensure the satisfactory protection of retained trees during the construction period shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.”
Catharine Darnton, Headteacher at the school declined to comment further on this.
The application will be reviewed at the South Oxfordshire District Council meeting and a target decision date is 12 February.