Posted 6th September 2021
In June of this year, the Cheswick Green Residents Association alerted you all to the many flaws contained within the above planning application which would see the volume of pupils double. Having studied SMBC’s own Transport Assessment, concerns grew and legal guidance was sought. This led to the Cheswick Green Parish Council and Residents Association commissioning an independent survey to provide a transparent picture. The full report is attached and compared to SMBC’s own Transport Assessment, the findings can be summarised as follows:-
1) Phasing is not clear.
2) There is a disproportionate increase in pupils versus staff.
3) Additional children will be from Blythe Valley Park development and the distanced catchment area, not Cheswick Place which is already complete.
4) There is a contradiction with Regional and National policy.
5) Potential for active travel is extremely limited.
6) Unrealistic targets have been assumed.
7) The quoted injury collisions should be over five years rather than three (Previous work highlights that the quoted figures are understated).
8) Irresponsible parking and general traffic chaos would be exacerbated.
9) Ineffective parking provision for school staff cars.
10) No information for construction access.
11) No assessment of implications for the A34/Creynolds Lane junction.
12) Limited life of mitigation measures.
13) Creynolds Lane is unsuitable for both pedestrians and cyclists.
14) There are no public footpaths/cycle lanes from Blythe Valley Park to Cheswick Green.
15) There are no pavements on Illshaw Heath Road.
16) The proposed “Park and Stride” location would have minimal use.
Without any question, the proposal would result in the majority of new pupils travelling by car. This would have a major impact on child safety and a great deterioration in the quality of life for local residents. Public Health England has already issued a directive to reduce air pollution in the vicinity of schools and yet the Council’s plan would have the opposite affect and make a mockery of their green targets.
The findings of this independent survey bring in to question the proposed school expansion and one has to question why the Council’s own assessment did not fully uncover these issues. With much concern, the Council’s own assessment gives the feeling of a report being constructed to suit a certain course of action?
Throughout this process, The Cheswick Green Residents Association and many local residents have made representation to the Council, but our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
We again ask, that for many good reasons you reject the proposal.
In the unlikely event that the proposal was to go ahead and a child was injured, the Residents Association would seek national press coverage and provide copies of the correspondence to the child’s parents.
Acting Chairman, Cheswick Green Residents Association