Chesham Primary School headteacher warns building work could prove "lethal" to his pupils

First published in News
Last updated

ANGRY residents have set up an action group to fight the building of a housing development in Bury which they claim has already affected a nearby school.

Residents of Lowes Road and neighbouring houses have formed the Lowes Road Landfill Residents Group, and joined Chesham Primary School in opposing plans by The Brickworks (Bury).

The firm wants to build 26 homes on the old brickworks site, and a memorial forest on the former landfill site.

Residents are worried about the potential release of harmful gases, as well as the impact on traffic.

But developers say the plans create no significant risk to health or residents and will bring “positive benefits” to the area, pledging to solve the site’s drainage problems.

Peter Hudson, head-teacher of Chesham Primary School, has written to the council, saying that since work to clear the site began, a “deluge” of mud and water has come on to the school’s land, and blocked some emergency exits.

He said part of the school’s wooded science area has been destroyed by water and mud, fencing has been damaged and footpaths are “virtually unusable”.

Mr Hudson added: “Water pouring off the hills across our land was already an issue but, in my 15 years as headteacher, it has never caused anywhere near this problem.”

He added: “Building work is proposed on a site which, potentially, could prove lethal either to those living on it, those living near it, or at a primary school containing 325 young children right next to it.”

Alyson Malach, who has helped to organise the group’s meetings, said that following a burst at her house, a significant amount of water was found underneath floorboards, which she believes is because of the site.

She said: “We are all concerned, since they have been digging we have had rats in our gardens, and there has been sludge and mud slides.”

Richard Horsnell, a director of The Brickworks (Bury), said: “The proposal will boost the supply of attractive and well-designed family housing.

“It will provide a memorial and community forest which will be managed by the charity Life-for-a- Life which makes substantial donations to good causes both locally and nationally.

“People should not be worried. If planning permission is granted, the problems associated with the existing site will get sorted. If it doesn’t, they won’t.”

Bury Council has received 15 formal objections to the plans, and is set to make a decision on August 18.

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