AN “OVERBEARING” dome installed above a school tennis court is to be taken down after it failed to receive retrospective planning permission.

An “air dome” covering a sports area at Holmer Green Senior School, on Parish Piece, in Holmer Green was branded a “monstrosity” before Buckinghamshire councillors voted to refuse permission for the structure to remain in place.

The school installed the controversial ‘temporary’ feature claiming it would provide additional indoor space for exams, breaks and lunchtimes, PE classes and social distancing.

READ MORE: Forced removal of ‘unauthorised’ sports dome could be result of upcoming debate

Its benefits however are not considered to outweigh its harms, according to council documents, and its foundations were dug “before the impact of Covid was even known,” said Cllr Julie Burton.

The dome also prevents natural light from reaching Holmer Green Infant School to an “unacceptable level”, while casting ‘glaring sunlight’ into neighbouring properties.

Bucks Free Press:

The report suggests it is “completely out of keeping with the scale of development in the surrounding area” and sounds reverberating inside the dome exceed an ‘acceptable’ level.

One objector said it is ‘an imposing eyesore’.

Little Missenden Parish Council said it was “overbearing and intrusive”.

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Cllr Burton said she understood the position of the school, before leading a fiery tirade against the “huge edifice”.

Bucks Free Press:

“The erection of this monstrosity…is not the solution,” she said. “Especially for the neighbours or the environment of Holmer Green.

“This dome would be a totally alien feature almost anywhere, let alone in the middle of a village, immediately adjacent to an infant school and residential properties.

“This application is for permanent retrospective permission and I consider it to be most inappropriate for the school to justify to the pupils that erecting this huge edifice is acceptable without first gaining planning permission – therefore attempting to ride roughshod over all planning considerations.

“It is also noted foundations were dug and funding was sought before the impact of Covid was even known.

“This dome, if given permission, would not be for Christmas or a short term, but forever – and it’s to the detriment of all in the vicinity.

“In time all the students who have written in, and their parents, will have moved on. But the local residents will have to endure this vast eyesore…until they’re able to sell their homes.

“I think it’s absolutely awful…neighbours have suddenly woken up one morning and this thing has appeared in front of them.

“And it wasn’t until [councillors] went round that the headmaster even thought about consulting local people.

“I shall support the decision [to refuse and bring enforcement].”

Bucks Free Press:

Cllr Jane MacBean added: “There’s no excuse here for a retrospective application because the school clearly knows how the planning process works.

“I really don’t accept the argument this is special measures under Covid. I cannot support this application.”

Members voted in their majority to refuse retrospective planning permission and for enforcement action to be taken.

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