Attempts by a group of schools in Birmingham to quell fears over a proposed rooftop playground have prompted claims they would be caging children.
The Perry Beeches Academy Trust is seeking planning permission to build a primary school next to its existing Perry Beeches III secondary school, in Bath Row, near Five Ways island.
The trust is hoping to build a five-storey primary school with a two-storey section at the rear with a playground on top.
It has offered to put a 10.3 ft high fence around this two-storey play area, with a net covering above to ensure the safety of pupils.
It was one of several concessions the school made after council planners voted two weeks ago to refuse the construction of the 700-pupil primary school.
But the move backfired as Gareth Moore (Con Erdington), speaking at Birmingham City Council's planning committee meeting, said that, while the school had made attempts to ensure safety, it seemed like a cage now.
His view was reiterated by other committee members including Coun Martin Straker-Welds (Lab Moseley and Kings Heath), who said: "It doesn't seem a safe place for pupils to play."
The council's planning committee, along with West Midlands Police, had also raised concerns over traffic congestion and road safety around the inner city site.
Again, the school, represented at the meeting by deputy head teacher Jackie Powell, attempted to deal with this by saying staff would be given parking spaces off site and wrap around care meant children would arrive at different times.
Coun Fiona Williams (Lab Hodge Hill) said: "It is already a congested area. Children playing on a rooftop will be inhaling fumes from the traffic."
While Coun Steve Booton (Lab Weoley) said: "There are more suitable places in Birmingham to put a school."
Some councillors supported the school, including Mariam Khan (Lab Washwood Heath), who said: "There are rooftop playgrounds within and outside this city."
The application was to demolish the derelict Colton Health Centre and build the primary school.
The committee voted by seven to three to reject the plan. The school must now decide whether to lodge an appeal.