Residents may be aware of my representations regarding this to the Cabinet Member of Education and Children’s Services when the matter of the expansion of the school, from a one form entry to become a two form entry, went before him earlier this year. I have posted it here:
There is now a formal planning application for the proposed expansion and PL/2021/01726/PPFL relates to this. The link to the application can be found on the council’s planning portal via this link: PL/2021/01418/PPFL | Expansion of the existing 1FE primary school to form a new 2FE school for 420 pupils ranging from Reception to Year 6. In addition to the 420 pupil intake, there will be 30 pre-school and 60 nursery children attending the school as a result of the proposal. The existing school site area will increase to 19,828m2 from 16,305m2. The proposal will consist of an additional 5 new class bases for year 1 to year 6. An additional reception class base and extended nursery provision together with internal alterations, additional on staff site parking provision an external enclosed MUGA and minor reconfiguration of the external play space for the KS1 play areas and access paths. The proposal will also seek permission for a temporary access route to be established via Creynolds Lane from the east of the site via the existing adjacent field next to the school sports field. | Cheswick Green Primary School Cheswick Way Cheswick Green Solihull B90 4HG
I feel the most important document to review is the Transport Assessment, provided by PJA. I am content that most of the measures I requested have been recommended for adoption. I do however make comment on a few aspects of their findings.
Staff Car Parking: I welcome the provision of an addition 22 spaces for staff, but the school will need to commit to car sharing to help ameliorate expected problems. They could achieve this by granting first access to spaces to staff who actually car share (this is a common practice by many companies).
Parents parking: the school, as well as the local authority, can help promote car sharing by parents. This can be achieved through the school eco committee and possible rewards, such as stickers, thanks you’s etc, may help motivate parents/pupils.
Cycling: The promotion of cycling to school by both staff and pupils should be promoted extensively, with secure and sheltered cycle bays/docks. The transport assessment mentions the promotion of cycling grants by the local authority, and this should eb explored.
School Bus: it is essential the service is as high a quality as possible because if the service is poor it will fail as parents will not use it. It needs to be totally reliable and meet the needs of the pupils and parents from Blythe Valley Park.
Cycling to school: This should be promoted and pupils from Blythe Valley Park will benefit in due course from a dedicated cycle route from Blythe Valley Park towards Monkspath. This is funded by Section 106 payments because of the planning application. An additional extension along Creynolds Lane may be possible for access to the school.
On Street Parking: This is shown from paragraph 5.4.11 of the Transport Assessment Report.
The school and Local Authority should actively promote parking further away from the school by parents who need to drive to deliver/pick up their children. The development of a Walking Bus is a great option, and the school and local authority can help lead on this. I referred to this as Park and Stride in my previous submission. There are locations to top and bottom of Creynolds Lane that lend themselves to vehicle being parked for this purpose.
Staggered Start/End times? The report does recommend this, but I feel it may be difficult to implement and will not be liked by parent with children in different age groups. However, enhanced Wrap Around Provision will help mitigate impact of higher numbers and therefore help dissipate the numbers of vehicles at the start/end of the school day. It is here the extra numbers of the school community will help make the wrap around provision more viable.
Traffic Regulation Orders (TROS’): I believe these should be explored now and not wait until a problem does occur. The council adopts an annual system whereby TRO’s are reviewed every November. A commitment to undertake a review outside this system is essential and provision for this must be adopted through a condition to the planning permission. I mentioned identified problem areas in my original submission document (see above).
The matter will go before the councils planning committee in a few weeks time and I await the formal report by our planning officers before confirming my position on this matter. I have to be totally truthful though in stating I am, in principle, supportive of the application but await the finer detail in the report to ensure the conditions I have mentioned will be addressed.