School officials say housing plans will help them to expand services

The site of one of the housing developments planned off Toot Lane, Fishtoft
The site of one of the housing developments planned off Toot Lane, Fishtoft

School officials said two planning applications lodged for Fishtoft will offer them an opportunity to expand their services for children.

Stuart Griffiths, chair of governors and a trustee at the Hawthorn Tree preschool, told The Standard how both developers – who had applied to build a combined total of 419 homes on either side of the road – had allowed a space in each of their plans for the preschool

Mr Griffiths hope the plan will mean that parents – who currently travel from one end of the town to the other to drop their children off – may be able to live closer to the school and walk school.

He said: “Both of my children go to the school and some of their friends live the other side of town and are being driven to Hawthorn Tree.”

He added: “From the school’s point of view any housing around the school means we will be full in the future.”

He said the recent expansion of Hawthorn Tree Primary had limited the amount of physical space the centre could expand onto and that the new plans would give it extra space.

It caters for two to four year olds and includes a breakfast club, pre-school, after school club and holiday club.

If the plans are passed,the centre, which currently takes 40 pupils per session, would look to expand from two rooms to three to take up to 72 children.

Mr Griffiths said the school did, however, have some concerns about the plans, include the safety of a proposed drop-off zone, which it was consulting on.

He said: “The school is concerned about the traffic and the parking etc and the head teacher is writing to Lincolnshire County Council.”

Head teacher Martin Lister said the proposed housing developments alongside Toot Lane presented opportunities for the school and local community.

He said: “If the developments progress, Hawthorn Tree Community Children’s Centre will acquire larger purpose built accommodation with lots of outdoor space for their growing preschool provision.

“Similarly our school will acquire additional space and facilities.

“The developments also give an opportunity to improve safety for our children as they travel to and from school.

“Hawthorn Tree School has benefitted from additional funding and major building work and is now able to accommodate up to 420 children ensuring school places are available for the proposed new housing.”

The parish council is concerned about the plans – and their impact on the safety of the road.

Separate developers want to build 340 homes built to the west of Toot Lane and 79 to the east.