Saturday 5 March 2016

Decision time for mega primary plans for Byron Court next week

'Mega' primary schools are another consequence of the government's policy banning local authorities building new schools where needed. Instead councils are forced to expand existing schools, some as large as 5 forms of entry - 1,050 4-11 year olds in one building.

The expansion of Bryon Court Primary school was firmly rejected in the public consultation:

The objections included:
 Impact on the character and ethos of Byron Court
             Affect child development and integration – including behaviour, language barriers and the impact of proposed ‘zoned areas’ in the expanded school

             Reduce attention to pupils and affect school results

             Impact on teaching standards

             Limit facilities after expansion, especially green spaces for outdoor play and extra curricular activities

             Affect education because of the building work

             Over-expand an existing school when a new school should be built

             Queries over the need for school places in Brent

             Queries over the need for school spaces in the Sudbury Court Estate (SCE) – particularly in view of the new primary school at Wembley High Technical College

             Health and safety considerations of expansion- particularly playground accidents and illness

             Potential car accidents

             Implications of long distance travel to school on parents and pupils

             Noise, litter and wildlife

             Suitability of the site for large development; particularly its residential nature, narrow roads and susceptibility to flooding

             Traffic, congestion and pollution

             The relationship between parents and staff

             Effect of building work on residents

             Potential to attract further regeneration, housing and leisure in Brent

             Parking and inconsiderate parents

             House value and amenities- especially the right to light and privacy

              Previous promises from the school against expansion 
Objectors include parents from the school, residents and Barry Gardiner MP.  However Cabinet approved the scheme and  the legal advice to the Planning Committee when the application is heard on Wednesday LINK  will be that only planning issues should be taken into consideration. 

 The following extracts are from the  current Planning Application:

Comments supporting the application have been received from the school and one individual householder.

The reasons for supporting the school expansion are set out below:

School expansion is needed to meet the increased population demands in the Borough.
The school has to teach some pupils off site in the Ashley Gardens annexe. These children wouldotherwise not have a school place.

School is suitable for expansion as it has OFSTED Outstanding status, teaching school accreditation, and has committed and talented staff and vision.

The school needs a canteen, a bigger hall and also the classrooms outside requires refurbishing.
Additional space and facilities will greatly enhance the teaching and learning opportunities and will provide children with a better environment in which to learn.
In contrast 1,469 people signed a petition expressing support for the ojections below:
An objection has been received from Sudbury Court Residents Associatio raising the following items:

1.  March Cabinet decision to proceed based on incorrect data - Primary driver for 5FE expansion no longer applicable
2.  Adverse Traffic Impacts
3.  Flooding risk: Proposed development will cause surface water / sewage flooding
5.  Parental concerns regarding the expansion
6.  Educational risk - Risk of jeopardizing Byron Court rating and standards
7.  Highway regulations and Health & Safety compliance failure for proposed Nathans access.
8.  Inadequate separation of new Nathans access from adjoining property.
9.  There should be appropriate segregation between pedestrians and vehicles
10.       Vast Majority of parents and residents opposed to proposal
11.       Ecological concerns
12.       Traffic problems expected during construction works.

The above objection is accompanied by a petition supporting the objections raised above. The petition is signed by 1469 persons.

Councillor Perrin- objections have been received on the following grounds:
Transportation and safety - congestion, cars parked illegally on yellows, no loading, school zig zags andof course the pavements and across (sometime in) driveways.

Failing to comply with Travel Plan - no school staff in the street at all.
Parents from Alperton and Wembley want a school place closer to home, so they do not need to drive. 
Query on amount of runoff (using averages) that will flow into the sewers and changes to local groundwater/table.
Proposal should comply with SUDS policy

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