Wednesday, 16 June 2021

School and developer clash over joint entrance road

PUPILS could be put in danger by vehicles going to and from the redeveloped Dog Inn in Peppard, says a school governor.

RG9 Living, of London, has applied for planning permission to convert the building, which was most recently the Daisy’s at the Dog café, into a three-bedroom house. 

It already has consent to convert the outbuildings at the former pub and restaurant into a house.

The developer plans to extend the property and create three parking spaces within a courtyard accessed from the loop road off the B481, known locally as a lay-by, which gives access to the property as well as the new site of Peppard Primary School, which is due to move from Church Lane. The road also serves as the entry to Greys Green Golf Club and two cottages.

The school was granted permission to relocate in 2011 and will use the loop road for access by pupils and staff arriving by vehicle and on foot. A consultant’s transport report for the applicant says: “A courtyard to provide off-road parking for three cars is proposed as part of the development... [it] will utilise a new access, through the low wall, from the lay-by.

“The proposal is compatible with the pedestrian access to the relocated primary school.”

The report says that drivers would reverse in and drive out forwards.

But Ian Heriot, who is a governor of the school, said this was unrealistic.

He said: “While not opposing the conversion of this building to residential use, the school has material concerns regarding the proposed vehicular access and parking arrangements.

“The assumption in the technical note that vehicles will reverse into the parking area and drive out in a forwards direction is highly questionable and would be an unenforceable condition. Experience shows that most people enter a parking space in a forwards direction and exit by reversing.

“This is an undesirable and potentially dangerous manoeuvre in the ‘lay-by’ at a point adjacent to the school entrance.

“It is considered desirable that conditions should be attached to the consent to ensure that traffic exiting Daisy’s enters the lay-by in a forwards direction either by relocating the vehicle access to Dog Lane or substantially enlarging the parking area to provide adequate on-site manoeuvring space and installing a small island to provide a mini ‘gyratory’ so that traffic flows in and out in one direction.”

Mr Heriot, who lives in Church Lane, pointed out that work on preparing the site for the new school to use it for sports and recreation, should be ready by the end of the year.

The new school will have four classrooms that could each take up to 30 children each akong with a computer and library room, a school hall linked to a kitchen and disabled toilets. There will be a 14-space car park and access would be via the loop road. Drop-off zones would be created and a row of oak bollards would be used to create a pedestrian access.

Other planned safety measures include school warning signs, speed-activated warning signs and wooden entrance gates.

When the plans were agreed some residents claimed that the movement of traffic to the school could put children and parents walking to school at risk.

Peppard Parish Council has recommended that RG9 Living’s application is refused by South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority.

It says: “We support the view of the school that access for cars should be from Dog Lane.

“This will be the same as Primrose and Rose Cottage and will prevent the additional car movements across the walkway planned for schoolchildren.”

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