CONSTRUCTION vehicles are endangering schoolchildren’s lives, destroying the road and damaging people’s cars, according to residents living near a development site.

The council’s planning committee discussed proposals for 40 new homes to be built at the Derwenthorpe site at a meeting on Thursday evening.

But residents and a governor at St Aelred’s Primary RC School said construction traffic driving down Fifth Avenue is having a huge impact on the community.

Speaking at the meeting Martin Rowley, governor at the school on Fifth Avenue, said heavy goods vehicles and vans using the residential street pose an “ongoing threat” to the safety of pupils.

And Alex Biddulf, who has children at the school, said: “Parents will have to cross the road three times with their child to avoid obstacles. Cars are being damaged, bollards are knocked over - it could be a child.

“The current situation is dangerous.”

Another resident said their house shakes when the vehicles drive past, and that the road is broken and the pavements are damaged.

Cllr Dafydd Williams said there had been a number of near-misses involving youngsters on the street. He said residents have had their quality of life affected by traffic accessing the site for the past eight years and called for some “respite”.

However he said that he is supportive of the development because it provides much-needed housing.

Katherine Jukes, speaking on behalf of the developer Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, said the site had created 198 genuinely affordable homes.

She said: “I understand this is not the favoured route by those who already live in the area but it has always been the intended route.

“I appreciate concerns have been raised.

“Such traffic cannot be avoided if houses are to be built.

“There have been certain measures that have been put in place. There is now a warden in place to help manage the traffic around the site.

“The end is in sight.”

She added that the developer will work with partners to minimise disruption. A planning report said that 55 residents had signed a petition calling for an alternative route into the development to be used by construction traffic.

Council officers recommended that the planning application be approved. But Cllr Mark Warters called for a decision on the application to be delayed until a construction traffic management plan is submitted to the committee and councillors voted by a majority for a deferral. The application will be discussed at a future meeting of the planning committee.