Plymouth school building safeguarding fence after incidents
A massive new perimeter fence around Lipson Co-operative Academy will be built for ‘safeguarding reasons’. Plymouth City Council planners have given the go ahead for the school’s plans for new 2.4m high perimeter fencing.
Details with the application outline a series of incidents which has led to the fence being required. They include a non-school member who entered the school and produced a knife, a physical assault involving female student and male non-school member, and unauthorised access by known drug dealer.
Another incident saw a teacher attacked by a dog during school hours causing significant injuries. Suspicious people onsite watching children, and verbal assaults are also mentioned on the incident log with the application.
A previous version of the scheme had angered locals as it would extinguish the established sustainable pedestrian and cycle routes between Bernice Terrace, Mullet Road and Mount Gould Park. That scheme was withdrawn, and a new plan with an alternative fence line allowing for a pedestrian and cycle route to be provided from Mount Gould Park to Mullet Road for public use, as well as public access to allow for a public footpath between Mount Gould Park and Bernice Terrace, was submitted.
Ongoing discussions between Lipson Co-operative Academy and Plymouth City Council have taken place to draft legal agreements in relation to the permissive route through the woodland and the path creation agreement for the footpath from Mount Gould Park to Mullet Road. But council officers have given planning permission for the new fence to be built.
The report of the planning officers said: “Concerns were raised within the letters of representation regarding the visual impact of the proposal on the local area and the fact the fencing would adversely impact the character of the area. While the fencing can be viewed by nearby residential properties, on balance the proposal is not considered to result in a demonstrably harmful feature that will prejudice the ongoing enjoyment of nearby properties.
“Officers have taken into account the safeguarding issues raised and do not consider the visual impact concerns to outweigh the need for increased safeguarding. The proposal will not lead to the significant loss of sustainable transport connections to neighbourhood green space.
“Officers have worked proactively with the applicant to take into account all comments received from members of the public as well as the need for increased safeguarding at Lipson Co-Operative Academy. The development is compliant with policies of the Joint Local Plan and officers have concluded that the proposal accords with policy and national guidance and is therefore recommended for approval.”
A statement with the planning application, explaining the requirement for the fence, had said: “The proposals will enhance the safety of those students on roll at the school, ensuring that a secure boundary is provided, preventing any future security breaches, along with any associated criminal offences and health and safety instances. The safety of the pupils on roll is paramount and this is a significant benefit of the proposals.
“Sustainable pedestrian and cycle routes between Bernice Terrace, Mullet Road and Mount Gould Park will be retained and improved through the adoption of the footpath. This is a further significant social benefit of the proposals.
“The proposals seek to address the deficiencies identified within the safeguarding provision at the Lipson Co-operative Academy, through the replacement of the existing dilapidated 1.2 metre high wooden fence and erection of a secure, 2.4 metre fence around the perimeter of the school.”
Source: Plymouth Live