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Temporary solution for Whiteley despite traffic fears
A NEW £2.2m temporary primary school in a Hampshire village has been given the go ahead despite residents’ concerns about parking.
The one-form entry school on a plot of land off Lady Betty’s Drive in Whiteley will open in September and provide places for 210 pupils.
The site was earmarked for housing but council officers said there was an “urgent and immediate” need for the new primary school.
Some 350 children a day are driven out of the village to schools in Fareham because the existing three-form entry primary in Whiteley is massively oversubscribed.
Speaking at the county council’s regulatory committee yesterday mum-of-two Laura Poustie said this added to traffic congestion at the notorious bottleneck.
Ms Poustie, who led a parents’ campaign for a new primary, told councillors: “We have a situation where siblings are sent to different schools, creating a logistical nightmare.
Some desperate parents have resorted to putting their houses up for sale because the strain is too much.”
‘Deplorable’ Liberal Democrat councillor Brian Gurden criticized the Conservative-run council for its “deplorable failure” in not providing a permanent school six years ago.
An attempt was made to build a school in 2006 but Winchester City Council refused to release the land.
A group of parents subsequently attempted to set-up a free school but failed to win Government approval.
Now permission has been granted for a primary on a different site owned by the county council.
The new school will be run by the Church of England’s Portsmouth Diocese with building costs met by the county.
Children will be taught in temporary classrooms but have a sports field and hardstanding playground.
There will be 32 parking spaces for staff and a parent drop-off and collection point with overflow parking area.
Residents’ concerns included parents driving to the school, leading to congestion and parking problems on narrow roads.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Sean Woodward said the planning permission was “absolutely fantastic news” for parents who had campaigned for a new school.
In the longer term, the school will transfer to new permanent buildings in North Whiteley as part of a major new development.