CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a temporary school near a busy crossroads will ‘cause chaos’ for local residents who are fighting against the proposal.
Last 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 over already heavy congestion on nearby Dodworth Road, where Horizon Community College is situated.
While evaluations continue, residents who live on Keresforth Close were told of a proposed 360-place temporary school, which will be built on the same site, last month.
The council confirmed the temporary school is set to meet ‘immediate needs’, while the permanent proposal is ongoing.
The proposed school will accommodate 180 pupils aged 11 to 16 from September for a two-year period, with further intake intended to double its capacity the following year.
Coun Peter Fielding, who has been critical of the plans, believes urgent action should have been taken years prior to accommodate the future cohort of students.
He told the Chronicle: “The planning application for the temporary secondary school is yet another example of the failure of Barnsley Council to effectively plan for the predicted increase in secondary students in the town over the next ten years.
“The need for additional places this year has been known about since 2010, the year that this cohort were born, but nothing was done about providing these places until a couple of years ago, putting the council at the mercy of the free school system.
“The council failed to allocate sites in the local plan for the location of any new secondary schools to accommodate the expected increase of 1,300 places - making it almost impossible for them to refuse planning permission for proposals such as this one.
“Once the 360-place school is open, it would be very difficult to turn down the permanent school.
“For the third time in as many months, I read in an official report that I have been consulted, as ward councillor, when I haven’t.
“The planning department failed to notify any of the Dodworth ward councillors of the application and they have sent consultation letters to only a handful of residents.
“They have, however, sent a consultation letter to seek the views of the nearby nursery that was demolished eight years ago.”
The consultation process is available for local residents to view, with the opinions of the public being sought.
“With all the time available to the council to resolve this problem, a permanent school in the right location should have been ready for September,” Coun Fielding added.
“Before this plan is taken to the planning board, I want to see the publication of the site search report and the submission of full planning permission for the permanent 900-place school, so that councillors can make a fully informed decision about this application.
“I would nevertheless encourage all residents to respond to the consultation process so they can hopefully influence the final outcome and design of the school.”
Got a Story? - 01226 734262
Temporary school plan revealed for congested area
Author: Emma Shepherd
Mourners pay respect to popular Mark Teen’s mum speaks out after shocking assault Miner Keith to retire Council tax hike agreed ‘Fly-tippers get stiffer sentences than stalkers...’ April 12 date in pub landlords’ eyes... Fly-tipping fine issued to couple End-of-year completion date set for controversial road Bus driver calls for better support for frontline staff Cabinet members accuses opposition Lib Dems of being ‘Covid spreaders’