Sunday, 22 October 2017

Villagers fear parking chaos caused by new primary school

RESIDENTS of Charvil are concerned about parking problems caused by the creation of a new primary school.

RESIDENTS of Charvil are concerned about parking problems caused by the creation of a new primary school.

The school, which will be run by Piggott School in Wargrave subject to approval by Education Secretary Michael Gove, will be located at East Park Farm. The site is said to have good accessibility with a footpath linking it to the East Park Farm estate.

But opponents say the school will add to the village’s congestion problem and the infrastructure will be put under extra pressure.

Sawden Town Planning Consultancy, which has submitted a planning application on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council, says there is “obvious synergy” between the school and the country park next door and the nearby sports and leisure facilities.

“It has the capacity to accommodate a parent drop off/pick up facility while retaining the existing car parking provision for country park users as well replacing the tennis courts and multi-use games area on site,” said the company.

The council has received 16 letters of objection so far.

Amanda Bayley, of East Park Farm Drive, said: “I object because Park Lane is currently extremely busy at peak times and this will only make the traffic more congested and residents will suffer.”

Neighbour Roy Stone said: “I do not believe the infrastructure is in place to accept this development. The increase in traffic using Park Lane would be to an unacceptable and potentially dangerous level.”

Adrian Keward, also of East Park Farm Drive, said: “Provision for parking has not been taken into account. The plan relies on soft measures to keep parents/carers from travelling to the school by car and is unlikely to be sustainable.

“Experience shows that school-bound traffic increases with bad weather — the traffic around Sonning almost doubles on those days. This is most likely to happen for East Park Farm.”

Claire Tucker, of Simmons Field, said that although the school would have only 30 pupils when it opens in September, the roll would be 210 within a few years. “This is all about future proofing,” she said. “‘No access to school’ signs should be erected at the end of the road. Yellow lines should be reviewed.”

Ann Berne, of the Hawthorns, said: “Park Lane already becomes congested between 8am and 9am. When there is a problem on the M4 or A4 Park Lane becomes gridlocked. Despite the traffic- calming measures put in at the time of development of the East Park Farm estate, Park Lane is still used as a rat run by vehicles trying to get to the A4, creating noise, pollution and house-shaking.”

Calvin Harris, also of the Hawthorns, said: “The problem comes when people park in residential areas like the Hawthorns and East Park Farm and walk down Park Lane. The Hawthorns should have ‘residents only’ signs at both entrances.”

Judrin Phillips, of East Park Farm Drive, objected to the loss of the green area.He said: “Many families with kids moved here because of this beautiful green and we do really want to keep it that way for our own children to enjoy. From the site plan it appears the new tennis court will be located between the multi-use games area and the pavilion. We strongly oppose losing the green space and picnic bench. The road infrastructure at the proposed location is not conducive to a safe environment for children or local residents.”

Mrs Berne said: “The proposed school will mean a further loss of public green space in a village where very little exists.”

She said the development would destroy the semi-rural character of Park Lane, adding: “Siting the proposed school in Park Lane will weaken the case to prevent further large-scale development in this part of the village.”

Bruce Peever, of the Hawthorns, said: “The proposed site is in the countryside and its location is beyond the limited development boundary. The premises would occupy and significantly encroach into an existing leisure amenity area currently enjoyed by local residents for walking. The provision of a green and pleasant access to Charvil meadows would also be blighted.”

Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children’s services at the council, said: “We’re providing a significant amount of car parking, not only for the school but also to enhance the leisure facilities for the community using them.

“Our strategy is developing local schools and encouraging people to walk to school. This is the best way to give parents the choice of a good school place, making less of issues such as traffic.”

The council has received 16 letters of objection so far.

Amanda Bayley, of East Park Farm Drive, said: “I object because Park Lane is currently extremely busy at peak times and this will only make the traffic more congested and residents will suffer.”

Neighbour Roy Stone said: “I do not believe the infrastructure is in place to accept this development. The increase in traffic using Park Lane would be to an unacceptable and potentially dangerous level.”

Adrian Keward, also of East Park Farm Drive, said: “Provision for parking has not been taken into account. The plan relies on soft measures to keep parents/carers from travelling to the school by car and is unlikely to be sustainable.

“Experience shows that school-bound traffic increases with bad weather — the traffic around Sonning almost doubles on those days. This is most likely to happen for East Park Farm.”

Claire Tucker, of Simmons Field, said that although the school would have only 30 pupils when it opens in September, the roll would be 210 within a few years. “This is all about future proofing,” she said. “‘No access to school’ signs should be erected at the end of the road. Yellow lines should be reviewed.”

Ann Berne, of the Hawthorns, said: “Park Lane already becomes congested between 8am and 9am. When there is a problem on the M4 or A4 Park Lane becomes gridlocked. Despite the traffic- calming measures put in at the time of development of the East Park Farm estate, Park Lane is still used as a rat run by vehicles trying to get to the A4, creating noise, pollution and house-shaking.”

Calvin Harris, also of the Hawthorns, said: “The problem comes when people park in residential areas like the Hawthorns and East Park Farm and walk down Park Lane. The Hawthorns should have ‘residents only’ signs at both entrances.”

Judrin Phillips, of East Park Farm Drive, objected to the loss of the green area.He said: “Many families with kids moved here because of this beautiful green and we do really want to keep it that way for our own children to enjoy. From the site plan it appears the new tennis court will be located between the multi-use games area and the pavilion. We strongly oppose losing the green space and picnic bench. The road infrastructure at the proposed location is not conducive to a safe environment for children or local residents.”

Mrs Berne said: “The proposed school will mean a further loss of public green space in a village where very little exists.”

She said the development would destroy the semi-rural character of Park Lane, adding: “Siting the proposed school in Park Lane will weaken the case to prevent further large-scale development in this part of the village.”

Bruce Peever, of the Hawthorns, said: “The proposed site is in the countryside and its location is beyond the limited development boundary. The premises would occupy and significantly encroach into an existing leisure amenity area currently enjoyed by local residents for walking. The provision of a green and pleasant access to Charvil meadows would also be blighted.”

Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children’s services at the council, said: “We’re providing a significant amount of car parking, not only for the school but also to enhance the leisure facilities for the community using them.

“Our strategy is developing local schools and encouraging people to walk to school. This is the best way to give parents the choice of a good school place, making less of issues such as traffic.”

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