Campaigners preparing to oppose new super-school plan for Winchester

Hampshire Chronicle: Campaigners preparing to oppose new super-school plan for Winchester Campaigners preparing to oppose new super-school plan for Winchester

OPPOSITION is growing against plans for Winchester’s first ‘super school’.

Residents in Cheriton Road have come out against proposals to expand The Westgate School with a 420-place primary school and 55-place nursery.

The residents said they had several concerns including potential traffic chaos, claiming the traffic plan was flawed.

Jan Cooper, a retired teacher, of Cheriton Road, said: “We had a meeting last week where 50 residents attended and we are really angry. Firstly, we have not been consulted or involved in the decision-making process at all.

“There will be traffic chaos because children will not be coming from this area, they will come from all around Winchester like Abbotts Barton.

“The traffic plan key to the proposed development of a 420-place primary school and a 55-place nursery school suggests that there will only be an additional 20 vehicle movements at peak times, which is ridiculous as anyone who stands outside any primary school in Winchester could tell.”

She added: “Another thing is we have looked at previous applications and found a residential development of four two-bedroom flats was refused permission opposite the school by the city council in 2007, because of the impact its scale would have had on the character of the area.

“But now on the other side of the road the county wants to put up a school, a nursery and a car park!”

Mrs Cooper said residents were beginning a leaflet campaign to encourage parents of Westgate pupils to object to the plans.

But Cllr Roy Perry, county council executive member for children’s services, defended the plans.

He said: “We anticipate that many of the children attending the planned primary provision will be able to walk to the school thereby reducing the need for unnecessary car journeys in the area.

However, we do recognise that some parents will still decide to transport their children to school by car so we will work closely with the school on a sustainable travel plan.”

He added: “There has been extensive consultation on this proposal from the outset when we were first looking at various options to create additional primary school places in Winchester and more recently as part of the statutory consultations in December last year.

“There were letter drops to residents in Cheriton Road and the surrounding area advising them about public meetings and drop-in sessions at which they could find out more about the plans before the planning application was submitted.”

The deadline for comments to Hampshire County Council on the plans is Monday (January 21).

Comments (2)

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11:54am Wed 23 Jan 13

J Cooper says...

There has not been extensive consultation. I was notified of one meeting at Westgate by our local councillor whilst I was on holiday in November. Nothing else until the notice of planning appeared just before Christmas giving very little time to study the proposal which amounts to over 300 pages. I am also concerned that additional information, vital to the proposal was only published in the final days before the deadline for representations.
Finally I do hope that HCC publishes these representations in the same way that WCC is committed to. Many other local residents have complained about the lack of consultation too.
There has not been extensive consultation. I was notified of one meeting at Westgate by our local councillor whilst I was on holiday in November. Nothing else until the notice of planning appeared just before Christmas giving very little time to study the proposal which amounts to over 300 pages. I am also concerned that additional information, vital to the proposal was only published in the final days before the deadline for representations. Finally I do hope that HCC publishes these representations in the same way that WCC is committed to. Many other local residents have complained about the lack of consultation too. J Cooper
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Wed 23 Jan 13

malcolmprince says...

I attended one consultation evening but notwithstanding overwhelming opposition in the consultation process Hammpshire CC decided to dismiss this regardless of the strong and constructive feedback against the proposal.

It is apparent that the consultation is a mere step which must be gone through, not listened to, for HCC to achieve its goal of an all through school on the site by Sep[tember 2014. The decison to go ahead was openly publicised prior to the end of the consultation process.

HCC need to be held acountable for their failure to undertake effective consultation. In particular for the traffic issues evidence that a school travel plan will mitigate the traffic problem is critical; statistical examples of schools/sites with the similar wide catchment area and number/mix of pupils would be welcomed. Local residents in this part of Winchester will inevitably experience gridlock. HCC please prove otherwise with hard facts not just carefully articulated words/speeches/press releases if you wish us to believe otherwise.
I attended one consultation evening but notwithstanding overwhelming opposition in the consultation process Hammpshire CC decided to dismiss this regardless of the strong and constructive feedback against the proposal. It is apparent that the consultation is a mere step which must be gone through, not listened to, for HCC to achieve its goal of an all through school on the site by Sep[tember 2014. The decison to go ahead was openly publicised prior to the end of the consultation process. HCC need to be held acountable for their failure to undertake effective consultation. In particular for the traffic issues evidence that a school travel plan will mitigate the traffic problem is critical; statistical examples of schools/sites with the similar wide catchment area and number/mix of pupils would be welcomed. Local residents in this part of Winchester will inevitably experience gridlock. HCC please prove otherwise with hard facts not just carefully articulated words/speeches/press releases if you wish us to believe otherwise. malcolmprince
  • Score: 0

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