PROPOSED EXPANSION TO CHESWICK GREEN PRIMARY SCHOOL

INTRODUCTION
Residents may be aware that on 9th November 2020, Solihull Council  announced a 6 week period of consultation with regard to increasing the capacity at Cheswick Green Primary School (CGPS), from 210 to 420 places. The additional capacity is designed to accommodate children from the Mount Dairy Farm and Blythe Valley Park housing developments.

Although our Parish Council has previously recommended an expansion to the school to cater for children from Blythe Valley Park, we are advised by Solihull Council that nothing is cast in stone. The Council advises that respondents views will be taken into account and where appropriate, acted upon. However, an increase of such dimensions raises many issues which residents are asked to consider when submitting their views. Some of these are discussed below:-

EDUCATION STANDARD
Although the school has been awarded a “Good” rating by Ofsted, a number of parents would argue that there are areas which need improvement. Doubling the volume of pupils could see the education standard fall and therefore,  before accepting the proposal, parents are recommended to obtain a commitment on how the school would be run and how the education standard would be increased.

From the plan issued with the Consultation document, it is difficult to appreciate the space and facilities children would have. This could be an issue and it is recommended that parents satisfy themselves that the proposed plans meet their aspirations and would deliver a good learning environment.

CATCHMENT AREA
The Residents Association fully support that families from Mount Dairy Farm should be entitled to have their children educated at CGPS. However, as Blythe Valley Park is some 2.5 miles away and without footpaths, cycle lanes or easy accessed roads to Cheswick Green, it can be argued that not all of these children should be allocated to CGPS. In the absence of a new school, the Residents Association’s recommendation is that children from Blythe Valley Park should be accommodated at all 3 local primary schools.

TRAFFIC
A doubling of school capacity would inevitably lead to further traffic congestion in the immediate area. Not only would this be bad for children’s health, but It would also impact on safety.
Responses should provide views on how the traffic situation could be eased and some suggestions are given below:-

Strictly no parking within 100 metres either side of the school gates.

 A 20mph Speed limit outside the school.

 A Pedestrian crossing outside the school operating at peak times.

A designated parking area for teachers, support staff and children arriving by car (Village Hall/Pub car park?).

The Parish Council has argued for a drop-off and parking area at the back of the school. However, this would only transfer the traffic congestion from Cheswick Way to the newly created road, create havoc on Creynolds Lane and probably lead to further housing development.

In July 2016, the Residents Association surveyed Cheswick Green residents on many local issues. The survey attracted 237 responses and their  preference for primary schools is provided below:-

Expand CGPS with a rear drop-off point       9.6%
Build a new school on Blythe Valley Park    86.2%


RESPONSE MECHANISM
The consultation will run for a period of 6 weeks until 18th December 2020. It can be accessed on the following link:-
www.solihull.gov.uk/consultation

Questions and resident views can be made via email to researchandpolicy@solihull.gov.uk

CHESWICK GREEN RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

Looking after the interests of residents of the village of Cheswick Green.