Latest stage of schools revamp set for approval
The next stage of the rebuilding and refurbishment of Leicester's secondary schools is set to be approved.
Officers have recommended councillors permit Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schemes for St Paul's, in Evington, Babington Community College, in Beaumont Leys, West Gate, in New Parks, and Ellesmere College, which is moving to the vacant Riverside College site, in Rowley Fields.
The £11 million plan for St Paul's has received 19 objections, mostly saying the proposal, for a three-storey building, would lead to loss of privacy and light at their homes.
Roger Martin, 74, who has lived in a bungalow in Oakside Close for 23 years, said his property would be overlooked.
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"We're used to the noise and everything else that comes with living close to a school," Mr Martin said.
"However, the three-storey building is going to be 33ft away, with windows overlooking the entire rear of the house.
"In the summer it may not be as bad because trees will screen it somewhat, but that won't be the case in the winter."
A retired couple living in the same street, who did not want to be named, said: "We've objected on the grounds of loss of privacy.
"There is going to be a huge three-storey building overlooking us."
Plans include demolishing two of the existing school blocks and replacing them with a structure separate from the main building.
St Paul's head teacher Neil Lockyer said: "We have worked closely with our neighbours over a number of meetings to try to resolve any issues they have raised.
"We will continue to liaise with them to ensure they are fully informed of the developments and that their views are sought and considered."
Ellesmere College would move to the Riverside site, which is set to be rebuilt, at a cost of £12 million.
The site will have playing fields for pupils at the special educational needs school for the first time.
Head teacher Lisa Pittwood said: "It's going to create some bespoke facilities for our students who are currently working in a building which is Victorian in parts.
"It has not been ideal. We're particularly looking forward to having some playing fields.
"It's going to make a huge difference to students and the experience they have at Ellesmere."
Babington College would be rebuilt apart from its sports hall, at a cost of £13 million.
West Gate, which has two sites split by Glenfield Road, would be brought under one roof, at a cost of £7 million.
Work will start next year, with all projects due to be finished by autumn 2014.
Tony Brumfield, BSF project director at the city council, said: "The BSF project team is really pleased to support the planning applications.
"It follows a lot of close and detailed partnership work between the city council and the schools, among others.
"Subject to consent, construction should begin early in the new year and start a new, exciting chapter for each school."
A decision on each application will be made by the council's planning committee tomorrow.