Council planners have criticised the education department after refusing to legitimise a “hideous” school fence put up without permission.
But the fence did not have planning permission and drew criticism from locals who called it an eyesore. Even ward Councillor John Ruding (Lab, Tong), a governor at the school, said it should come down.
A retrospective application for permission has now been refused unanimously by the Bradford Area Planning Panel.
Addressing the panel yesterday, Coun Ruding said the fence had appeared as part of an extension which had been both managed and designed by the Council, which raised serious questions about why it had not first got planning permission for it.
He said: “It’s hideous.”
The vice-chairman of the governors, Perry Pommells, spoke on behalf of the school, saying: “Our pupils’ educational futures are priceless. You have to consider the disruption of school classes if windows are smashed.”
Panel member Coun Imran Khan (Lab) said he was “sick to the back teeth” of the Council’s education department assuming it could get planning permission after the fact.
He said: “Schools are pushing ahead and doing things and putting in retrospective planning applications and we have got to put a stop to it.”
Coun Malcolm Sykes (Con) said the issue of people throwing stones should be a matter for the police to solve, not planners.
Coun Keith Dredge (Lab) said approving the fence would be “providing a cure for the symptom without curing the actual disease”, which would not be fair on pupils.
And Coun Zameer Shah (Con) said it would be setting a precedent for any school in a residential area.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Pommells said: “Sometimes not everything goes your way. They say it’s a police matter, but you can’t have the police standing there all day.”