Park­ing fears raised over new school plan

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your - By BEN TRUSLOVE ben.truslove@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @Et­ben­truslove

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.

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