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Ide Hill Primary School to increase height of fence to reduce risk of child being snatched

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

A school is to increase the height of its fencing to stop passers-by from being able to "grab" children.

Ide Hill Primary, near Sevenoaks, has today been given planning permission to install a 1.5 metre-high wooden structure at the front of the school, replacing the current 1.2 metre-high boundary.

Kent County Council's principal planning officer Paul Hopkins said: "As things currently stand, they (the school) believe that somebody could reach over and grab a child from the playground.

Ide Hill Primary School. Picture: Google
Ide Hill Primary School. Picture: Google

"By raising it to 1.5 metres, it addresses that and makes it more difficult for that to happen."

Ide Hill had previously sought permission for 1.8 metre black metal fencing, but the application was withdrawn following concerns it could impact on the conservation area it sits in.

The sole objector to the changes suggested there had not been any incidents previously, and village schools do "not have the same issues" as those in urban areas.

But Cllr Ian Chittenden (Lib Dem) responded: "You can't argue with safeguarding - it's really a question of how it's done.

"You see there with the staves and fencing, within two years they will have mellowed down and match the other (existing) fencing, so I will be supporting the application.

"I have no problems with it."

Read more: All the latest news from Sevenoaks

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