EDUCATION chiefs say developers should pay almost £250,000 to fund extra school places if they get the go-ahead for a new housing scheme.
Residents of Milton Green near Tattenhall are concerned about the impact on their community of a proposed 65-home scheme earmarked for a former council depot.
Cheshire West and Chester Council's (CWaC) education team do not object to the plan but admit there are ‘insufficient places’ at local schools.
They are asking for £246,000 from developer Marbury Properties as a contribution toward educating the extra 12 primary school and 8.5 secondary school pupils that would be generated.
The latest plan comes after CWaC gave permission for Morris Homes to build 33 houses on an adjacent plot in 2011.
Council leader Mike Jones recently told Handley Parish Council ‘schooling is not an issue’ but his own education officers say there are no surplus places at Clutton CE Primary School and no surplus places at Bishop Heber High School.
Parish council chairman Ron Stockton said: “A lot of these new houses will be occupied by first-time buyers and young families who presumably will all have little kiddies.”
Cllr Stockton’s own 14-year- old granddaughter was recently turned away from Bishop Heber due to it being oversubscribed.
He said a former neighbour had to move to Chester because he couldn’t get his young boy into a local primary school.
The number of homes in the latest planning application, relating to the council depot and an adjacent greenfield site, has been reduced from 78 to 65.
But Cllr Stockton said the impact of the reduction would be ‘negligible’. Other objections concern increased traffic and road safety because the proposed access would be near a bad bend on the A41.
Meanwhile, council chief executive Steve Robinson has offered reassurances to Chester MP Stephen Mosley that ‘no arrangements’ have been made to sell the site to Marbury Properties or anyone else. He said the authority was ‘not party’ to the planning application.