By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Pentucket Bank’s plan to locate a branch office at Butcher Boy Plaza cleared another hurdle last night.
The Planning Board unanimously granted a watershed permit and approved the site plan for the project. Angus Realty Corp., owner of Butcher Boy Plaza, intends to build the branch office, which will be leased by Pentucket Bank of Haverhill.
The board also approved the site plan for the new gymnasium for Kittredge School.
Last week, the Conservation Commission closed its public hearing on the bank project, which has been the subject of numerous meetings of both the commission and Planning Board. The Conservation Commission is expected to render its decision within a couple of weeks.
Both panels expressed concerns about the proposed office’s close proximity to Lake Cochichewick, North Andover’s drinking water supply. Richard Barthelmes and Michael Juliano, engineers hired by Angus Realty, solved that problem by designing a stormwater management system that will treat the runoff, then send it to the Merrimack River.
Planning Board members also had questions about the office’s impact on traffic. Board Chairman John Simons said last night the hiring of a police officer to direct traffic during the busiest times at the plaza will assure safety.
Noting that the Conservation Commission has not yet issued a decision on the project, Barthelmes said he did not want to speculate on when construction will start. Butcher Boy Plaza is just north of the point where routes 125 and 133 split, with 125 heading to Haverhill and 133 going to Boxford and Georgetown.
School Business Administrator James Mealey said the new Kittredge School gym, which will be located behind the school at Main Street and Chickering Road, will have no impact on traffic. The 5,500-square-foot building will be made of metal.
The foundation will be built this month, Mealey said, with erection of the building likely to happen in December. The School Building Committee decided to have a metal building “to stay within the budget,” Mealey said.
Simons, noting that the present high school replaced a building that was torn down about 35 years after it was constructed, asked about the life expectancy of the Kittredge gym. Mealey said it should have a long life if it’s properly maintained.
He said the metal structure will be “not aesthetically pleasing, but solid.”