Decision day for school upgrade

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Residents will today urge councillors to turn down plans for a £6.6m development at a Hull independent school which they claim will be a blot on the area.

Hymers College wants to build a three-storey learning resource centre and music block opposite Edwardian homes on Hymers Avenue.

The school says the centre will be its intellectual and literary hub “providing excellent modern facilities”, replacing out-dated parts of its estate.

The proposals are recommended for approval by officers, but residents, ward councillors and Hull Civic Society will be speaking against the plans.

Residents say it is supermarket-like in design, out of keeping with a conservation area, will lead to the felling of mature trees and will loom over some homes, cutting light to front rooms, while people in the new building will be able to see into first-floor bedrooms.

A spokeswoman said: “The young people of Hymers College need good IT facilities to make them part of the digital city and they do need a library.

“But we are convinced that there are other places on the site where it could still be part of the school and it wouldn’t mean taking out significant trees. There are other places it could go where it wouldn’t impact in the same way on the neighbourhood.”

However headteacher David Elstone said they had support, including from a resident whose property overlooks the site, and from people connected to local business.

He said he hoped they had 
addressed residents’ concerns “and reassured them that the development will have little or 
no detrimental impact on the local environment or the streetscene”.

“We hope the councillors will view the development of the LRC not simply as a benefit to Hymers College and its pupils but as a much needed addition to the cultural offering that Hull can provide in the future,” he said.