IT was with a rather heavy heart that I saw the artist’s impression of the new school proposed for the Orchard Grove (Comeytrowe) development.

This reaction followed my disappointment at the plans revealed previously for the first two stages of this huge, 2,000-home development.

What a wonderful opportunity this is to create an imaginative new community on the edge of the “garden town” of Taunton, but the first two stages feature rows of dull, anonymous houses with little in the way of outward adornment to make them more attractive to the eye.

And the drawing of the large anonymous slab purporting to be a new school is frankly depressing.

READ MORE: Have your say on proposed new primary school in Taunton

Surely a school, if it is to stimulate young minds and provide an uplifting place of learning, can be more imaginative than this?

The new primary school at Monkton Heathfield, though modern in design, is a building in which it should be a joy to attend and learn; cannot a similar approach be adopted in Orchard Grove?

Is it really not possible to bring architects’ minds to bear on beautification and character?

Like even the smallest home, it doesn’t take much to turn a brick box into something easier on the eye, by designing in a porch or a bay window for example.

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When the Victorians built, they built with an eye to beauty, and it is rare that a Victorian building does not bring peace and pleasure in looking at it.

Why are we incapable of designing beautiful buildings today, that future generations can enjoy as we still enjoy the work of the Victorians? We seem to prefer trendiness to beauty – is it not possible to turn the clock back?

Another issue is the size quoted for the school.

The original development proposals stated that a 2,000-home development would statistically generate about 275 pupils of primary school age and a similar number of secondary age pupils.

But with 14 classrooms and 52 nursery places, this suggests a capacity of approaching 500 pupils - this seems hugely excessive in relation to the original estimates, so what has changed?

I trust that Somerset County Council will give some weight to these thoughts, which I’m sure will be shared by countless others, and I look forward to a more imaginative outcome to this consultation.