Parking fears raised over new school plan
DETAILED plans of a new multi-million pound school went on display last night and met with a mixed reception.
Parents and neighbours of the City of Peterborough Academy, which is to open on the old Hereward Community College site in Reeves Way, Eastfield, studied the plans for the school and while many welcomed the new centre, fears were raised over traffic issues and parking in neighbouring streets.
Robin Loakes, who lives opposite the school entrance, said: “They are making all the right noises but it’s going to be the same old problems.
“There are five schools within a two-mile radius and all of the parents are trying to drop off or pick up their kids at the same time. It’s a recipe for disaster.”
And Judy Cowlin fears that an entrance to the site from Viney Close, where she lives, will be opened.
She said: “I’m all for the school but not with an entrance from Viney Close. If they open it I will have trouble getting out of my drive because of all the parents coming and dropping children off.”
The finished academy will cater for 900 pupils, aged from 11 to 16, and 200 sixth formers. A special school will be built alongside for 90 autistic youngsters, aged from four to 19.
The school was welcomed by mum-of-two Tracey Hinnells whose son is autistic.
She said: “If I had the opportunity I would have sent Declan here. It’s looking very promising. Peterborough needs more for autistic children.”
The whole academy, which will be run by the Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust, will cost £13.8 million to build with £5.4 million coming from Peterborough City Council and the rest from central Government.
Work on the site will start on July 9 to prepare temporary accommodation for the special school which will open for primary school age children in September.
The refurbished sports hall, tennis courts and a multi-use games area will be completed and handed over on November 5.
In June 2013, the newly-built special school will be opened and the temporary accommodation converted for use for Year 7 pupils. The mainstream school will open in September 2013, ready for the intake of Year 7s and will only grow a year-group at a time, taking seven years to reach its 1,100 capacity.
It will be built around three courtyards, one dedicated to Year 7s, one for the special school and a larger one with outside dining.
Barry Day, Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust chief executive, said: “We are taking a build- ing which isn’t the prettiest but we’re not spending a lot on the externals because we want to spend the vast majority on teaching space. We are also investing a lot in catering because we know from experience that the school dinner is often the only hot meal of the day for some children.”
Ward councillor Marion Todd also attended the open evening. She said: “I think it is going to be wonderful. It is not just about the building, a lot of work has gone into how it will operate. There are some concerns about highways and I am hoping we can alleviate the problem before it happens.”
plans: Cate Harding, from the city council, Insp Dominic Glazebrook, special school principal Andy Dawson, cllr Marion Todd and resident Stuart Mathers.