A 131-lot development project has been approved by Surrey Council for north Clayton.

A 131-lot development project has been approved by Surrey Council for north Clayton.

Massive development approved for north Clayton

Fears remain that the 131-unit development will only further pack overcrowded schools in the area

Surrey council has endorsed a plan for 131 homes to be built across from a high school, which is being built to take the stress off nearby schools.

The new development near 73 Avenue and 184 Street will only further add stress to the school system.

Of more concern for Cindy Dalglish, a vocal advocate for more school construction, is the lack of elementary school spaces in Clayton.

Surrey council considered the application at a public hearing on Monday.

“I highlighted two things to council,” Dalglish said Tuesday. “One is, there is nowhere for those kids to go to school, and the school that is being built was meant to deal with the growth that is already here.”

There are also 206 trees coming down on the property.

“Not one tree on that property is going to stay,” Dalglish said.

The developer has agreed to replace the trees coming down, and council asked that some of those be mature trees to allow for a good canopy.

The development will be constructed in 2019.

It’s just another development in a fast-growing city that infrastructure, primarily schools, has not kept pace with.

As part of the City of Surrey planning report, graphs show both elementary schools and secondary schools well over capacity.

Clayton Heights Secondary alone is about 400 students over capacity now, a figure that grows to about 600 by 2019.

Elementary schools in the area are currently more than 150 over capacity now and expected to be more than 250 over by 2019.

School district figures provided to the city estimate there will be 68 more elementary students as part of this development and 34 secondary students.

Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne followed the development closely, and said this month his main concern is regarding elementary schools.

Hayne said Tuesday he heard from the school district an elementary school will be up and running by the time this development is complete.

He, and the rest of his colleagues, were satisfied this development will be appropriately served by schools.

That’s not to say Hayne is pleased with the pace of capital construction of schools in the community.

“We have continued concerns over the number of school spaces in the Clayton area,” Hayne said.

Discussions continue between the city, school district and province about alleviating those concerns.

Another large development was turned back to staff on Monday at the afternoon land use meeting.

A plan for 114 townhomes at 175 Street and 57A Avenue was directed back for the developer to work with the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association.

The main concerns there were the amount of parking and amenity space that will be provided as part of the development.

Dalglish points out the rapid speed of development in this city is costing students the ability to go to a nearby school, and in a classroom rather than portables.

She said no matter how many large developments get passed, she will continue her fight.

On April 21, the Surrey Board of Education voted unanimously in favour of a motion asking the City of Surrey to “temporarily suspend all new development approvals in the Clayton, Grandview/South Surrey and Newton regions until the Surrey School District receives adequate provincial funding to support the growing numbers of students moving into these regions.”

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