DCSIMG

New Whiteley school plans welcomed apart from traffic fears

 

SCORES of people attended a consultation about a proposed new school in Whiteley.

The proposal for a voluntary-aided Church of England primary school has been put forward by the Portsmouth and Winchester Dioceses and Hampshire County Council.

It is in a response to increasing numbers of parents who have to take their children to school outside of the town.

Residents near the proposed site, just off Lady Betty’s Drive, were invited to a public consultation to view the plans and comment on the proposals.

The new school would see Whiteley’s school places grow from 90 children starting school every year to 120.

When the school is full, it would provide 210 places.

If the proposals are not met with any objections then it could be open next September.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward was at the consultation to hear residents’ concerns and answer their questions.

He said that there were no objections raised to the building of a new school.

But he said there were some concerns about extra traffic that could be generated along roads such as Leafy Lane and Bader Way and concerns over parking.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘The reality is that there will be enough places for all the children who want to go to school in Whiteley to do so.

‘There are concerns about traffic and car parking which will be taken into account.

‘The new school will introduce drop-off points and the hope is that people will walk or cycle to school as it will be nearer to them.

‘At the moment every one of those 210 children are without a doubt being driven out of Whiteley which is adding to the congestion.’

Lucy Maggs, 32, Whiteley resident, said: ‘A new school is long overdue. It’s too late to help me and my children but it is a very positive step to improving Whiteley.’

Winchester City councillor Patricia Stallard said: ‘The consultation went very well. I have to say that people were extremely positive about the proposal.

‘Everyone recognises that there are concerns about the traffic flow but wherever you put the school there would be the same problems.

‘There is nowhere else that the school can be sited and we are keeping in mind how desperate parents are for another school in Whiteley.

‘We will put on the table lots of proposals to try and mitigate these problems.’

Originally there were nine sites proposed for the school but only two of these proved viable – ady Betty’s Lane and Rookery Avenue.

The owners of Rookery Avenue did not want to go ahead with the development which left only the land owned by Hampshire County Council off Lady Betty’s Avenue.

A planning application is expected to be submitted by the end of this month.

 

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