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Greenham Parish Council object to plans for new primary school in Newbury

Councillors claim it is being used to 'ease in' Sandleford Park application

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

New 'Sandleford' school gets town council backing

THE application for a new primary school in south Newbury is a way to “ease in” plans for the 2,000-home Sandleford Park development, say Greenham  parish councillors.

Members of the council said that plans to build the 210-place primary school should be rejected on that basis.

If approved, the application – submitted by West Berkshire Council – will see the single-storey school built on land adjacent to Newbury College with a new link road off the A339 providing access.

The  parish council has already objected to the proposed 2,000-home development. 

The plans for the school were considered by members of Greenham Parish Council at a meeting last Wednesday.

Parish councillor Lindsey Middlemiss said: “I have concerns about the school given that the Sandleford development hasn’t been given approval yet.”

Mrs Middlemiss also raised concerns about the new access from the busy A339 dual carriageway, saying: “I feel there’s an issue around access. They would have to put traffic lights in.

“It’s going to be dangerous, no matter what they do.

“You can’t have a primary school on a road like that."

Fellow councillor Paul Inman said: “This feels presumptuous. It almost looks like a way to ease in the application.”

Chairman Julian Swift-Hook agreed and said: “That looks pretty obviously the intention to me.”

Councillor Paul Walter said: “I propose we object on access, loss of amenity space and overdevelopment.”

Mr Inman added: “Especially since it’s allocated to a housing site which hasn’t been granted planning permission yet.”

West Berkshire Council has insisted the primary school is independent of the Sandleford development.

The view of Greenham parish councillors is in contrast to that of Newbury Town Council, which earlier this month offered its support to the development of the school.

Elizabeth O’Keeffe (Lib Dem, Victoria) told a meeting of the town council’s planning and highways committee on March 13: “As a governor of a primary school, we are very aware of the pressure on school places and we don’t want to be playing catch-up.

“I think we need to keep ahead of the game and have these sort of provisions in place before the buildings and the families arrive. The more provision we can have the better.”

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Article comments

  • spikey

    spikey

    26/03/2017 - 15:03

    wbc will slowly build on this site adding as each building is done. Until it is too late to stop it, thought wbc listens to its people, but I know that they don't care what we think, or say they just go and do things and waste tax payers money just like lib dem runed gpc. Both parties are useless who can't get things done right in the first place.

    Reply

  • spikey

    spikey

    26/03/2017 - 15:03

    wbc will slowly build on this site adding as each building is done. Until it is too late to stop it, thought wbc listens to its people, but I know that they don't care what we think, or say they just go and do things and waste tax payers money just like lib dem runed gpc. Both parties are useless who can't get things done right in the first place.

    Reply

  • Bombey

    25/03/2017 - 11:11

    No matter what is decided at a local level by WBC the Govt of this country will over rule any local planning decision & side with the developers. Central Govt wants houses built, so they will be built - Sandleford will be built.

    Reply

    • Yogiblair

      25/03/2017 - 21:09

      Sandleford is an allocated site in the Councils plan. Housing need is a fact determined by Councils and no one else.

      Reply

      • Concerned

        26/03/2017 - 03:03

        Sandleford already has 2 x primary schools factored in as part of the plans. This school is an additional school with no catchment to "soak up" kids around Newbury that haven't got school places. It's location does not fit with the sustainable vision of WBC, especially considering it is estimated that 20% of the kids will come from North Newbury by car. Will have 4 visitor parking spaces.

        Reply

  • Browntrout

    25/03/2017 - 10:10

    This smells of a “Sandleford Development” back door ploy by WBC. NWN should do some heavy investigative reporting on this whole fiasco and expose the truth about the Sandleford Development project. It was a BAD idea when it was conceived and it is a BAD idea now. The whole idea should be scaled down to a manageable number of houses that do not swamp our already fragile infrastructure. They should also only be affordable homes, prioritised to new residents and families with historical or current links to Newbury. Let’s get some current and fresh views on this subject and see what the Newbury Public want and feel about the Sandleford development. Go on NWN we need you more than ever to report what is Really going on in WBC, Bloor Homes and with the current Residents needs.

    Reply

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