CONTENTIOUS plans to build a temporary school near a busy crossroad next year have been proposed to residents - just months after neighbours criticised plans to build a permanent 900-place school in the same area.
Earlier this year, Barnsley was identified as an area in need of additional school places by government bosses.
To tackle this issue, a proposal was drawn up to open a new 900-pupil secondary school, Trinity Academy, on a site off Keresforth Close, Broadway.
These plans have been highly controversial with local residents who raised concerns of heavy congestion on the narrow roads in the area.
Last week, residents on Keresforth Close received a letter from government agency DPP Planning asking for their views on the proposed 180-place temporary school built on the same site.
The temporary school building is proposed to meet immediate needs pending a decision on the permanent school.
In the letter, the plans detailed accommodating 180 pupils aged 11 to 16 from September 2021 for a two-year period, with further intake intended the following year.
A new access road off Keresforth Close could be built, where four visitor spaces and two disabled spaces would be provided.
The plans propose 108 parking spaces for staff, and pick up areas will be provided on the existing parking spaces at the vacant NHS Keresforth Centre.
Coun Peter Fielding, who represents the Dodworth ward, has criticised the proposal while negotiations continue on the permanent 900-pupil school.
He told the Chronicle: “While it’s vital that the council ensures that there is adequate provision of school places in Barnsley, it is also vital that these places are provided in the right location.
“I, and many residents, are convinced that Broadway is not the right place for a new 900-place secondary school, just a few hundred yards from the huge Horizon Community College and the traffic issues on Dodworth Road that have already cost the community its local park.
“The shortfall of secondary school places is in central Barnsley which is why so many students at Horizon travel from places like Kendray, Monk Bretton and Athersley.
“Building another school on the western edge of Barnsley will mean even more students travelling across town on already congested roads. It is madness.
“I have now learnt from residents that they have received letters from a government agency carrying out a pre-planning consultation telling them that the school plans to open in September 2021 in temporary buildings on the site.
“With 180 students in the first year and 180 more in 2022, and that a planning application is coming forward for this temporary structure with car parking arrangements and highways access already agreed with the council.
“Why haven’t local members been involved in these discussions like we have for the new primary school at MU1? Again, what is there to hide?
“I don’t think it appropriate to permit this temporary development until the full application for the new school is determined through the planning process.
“It will be very difficult to refuse an application for the 900 place school on any grounds once the 360 place temporary structure is in place.
“We need to see the full application and assess its impacts on highways, green space and other environmental issues before agreeing to the smaller, temporary school.
“It seems inevitable that this school is going ahead on this site, but it is vital that the council listens to residents and insists on measures to minimise the impact on their lives.
“If the council is prepared to rip up the local plan because it suits them, at the very least they should try to mitigate some of the harms this will cause.”