School sports hall has costs as well as benefits

The case made by Tim Gibbs (“Community benefits from new high school sports hall”) enthusiastically describes the benefits to school and community, but it is hardly a balanced assessment as it is silent on two important issues:

1. The high school will receive £1.5 million from the Broomhill Lane developer in return for its support for this plan; the school can hardly claim to be a disinterested party.

2. The developer is using this additional cost to justify reducing the proportion of affordable houses from that agreed by Broadland District Council (20% instead of the stipulated 30%) and raising the density on the site (141 houses instead of the specified 120).

It may well be that the school intends to share this facility with the community, but since the community is bearing the cost for the benefit of the school, shouldn’t the community be asked whether it is happy with this trade-off?

Michael Pender-Cudlip, Mill Road, Reepham