An Ayr resident objected to an extension of Doonfoot Primary School, claiming that it would disrupt migrating birds and result in birds flying into classroom windows.
Other objections to the creation of two new classrooms were more familiar, with concerns about an increase in traffic, particularly during drop off and pick up times, noise, light and air pollution and privacy issues.
In a report to South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel, planners stated: “The proposed extension takes its design cues from the original school.
“The current application is part of a phased programme of school-wide upgrade works to improve facilities.”
The application does not involve any changes to the existing 41 parking spaces within the school grounds.
However, planning officer Dianne Lewis did tell the panel that work around parking was coming.
She said: “The council have a phased programme of improvement works for the school, maybe coming forward next summer, including a proposal for a new entrance and and increased off road parking.
“It is not part of this application but I have been made aware that they are looking at impact of traffic at the school. ”
Councillor Ian Cavana had asked about the major concerns around traffic among neighbours and asked for more detail around the plans.
While Ayrshire Roads Alliance (ARA) officer Graeme Senior said that they had not been told the extension was specifically designed with extra pupils in mind, Ms Lewis did say that it was possible related to the new housing developments at Greenan.
The planning report also states: “Revised entrance arrangements, that will allow for a one-way system for traffic and an increase in parking within the site in the future, are being taken forward separately.”
Responding directly to the issues around traffic congestion, Mr Senior stated: “Unfortunately it is too common at most, if not all, primary schools and is largely to do with the behaviour and choices of parents and carers opting to park indiscriminately, negatively impacting on residents in surrounding streets.”
The report added that the issue of ‘inconsiderate parking’ was not a planning issue, and is a matter for ARA or Police Scotland.
The other objections around noise and light issues were noted but not considered enough to warrant refusal.
The final objector raised concerns that ‘the migration of the birds impacted due to a two-tier infrastructure being built right in their flight path’ would see ‘birds fly into the windows of the school will be frightening for the children and detrimental to the health of the birds’.
Planners pointed out there were no environmental designation for the site and that ‘it is not considered that the modest extension sited immediately adjacent to other school buildings which is proposed within an existing school campus would significantly impact any wildlife.”
The application was approved by the Regulatory Panel.