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Residents call for super school rethink
7:00am Sunday 27th January 2013 in News
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.”
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 next Monday.