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Hundreds more places on way in Stone primary school expansion

A proposal to expand Stone primary school was approved this week, despite opposition from Dartford and Stone councils.

The school is due to provide an extra 200 pupil places over six years, rising from the current 428 pupils to 630.

The plan is for an extension to the existing school hall, an eight classroom teaching block, a parents’ drop-off point, 10 off-site parking spaces and seven additional car parking spaces in the school car park.

Plans for Stone primary school were expected to be approved this week, despite opposition from Dartford and Stone councils.

Two existing classrooms would be converted into a small hall and studio space.

Submitted by Kent County Council, the report states Dartford has seen “significant growth in the pupil population over the last few years”.

It puts this down to factors including “the scale of housing development over the last decade, inward migration of families both from London and other parts of Kent and a rise in the birth rate”.

The school currently employs 42 staff which would rise to 60.

Dartford council has objected to the proposal arguing that it does not provide enough additional parking, arguing for a minimum of 22.

Stone Parish Council has also objected saying the school already sees triple-parking, parking on zig-zag lines and parking over residents’ drives.

A spokesman for the council said: “At 3pm, Hayes Road is virtually impassable and this has a detrimental effect on visitors to community facilities, and residents of Hayes Road. As such, the council feels that the additional traffic generated by this application will be completely unsustainable.”

The report before planning bosses at Kent County Council concludes: “Concerns have been raised regarding the impact of the proposed development on various aspects including residential amenity, design aspects and traffic and highway safety issues.

“Having assessed each of these areas of concern, in my view, the development would not give rise to any significant material harm sufficient to warrant withholding planning consent.

“I consider that, subject to the imposition of appropriate planning conditions, this proposal would not have a significantly detrimental impact on residential amenity, design and layout aspects and traffic/parking issues.”

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