No parking for parents leads to residents’ anger in Hailsham

Cars outside Grovelands School in Hailsham
Cars outside Grovelands School in Hailsham
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An action group has raised concerns about a Hailsham primary school’s plans to stop parents using its car park.

Grovelands Community Primary School submitted a planning application and a statement to East Sussex County Council which said it had concerns about security in the car park and it wanted to make the car park off-limits to pupils’ parents.

When the school was rebuilt in the 1990s it was a condition that it have a car park for parents’ use.

The School Traffic Action Group and Gleneagles Residents Association Committee oppose the plans and claimed it would see an increased number of people parking on the streets around the school, and would cause problems on the roads for nearby residents.

Phil Carpenter, from the group, said: “The application demonstrates how little understanding the school have of the impact of parking by school traffic in the surrounding streets.”

He continued: “Residents in the surrounding streets are frequently shut in or out of their homes as school traffic will completely block access or egress to these cul-de-sacs and it is certainly the case that emergency vehicles would not be able to gain access at school drop off and pick up times.”

The school’s statement on the application says it is ‘aware of no other schools in or around Hailsham or any East Sussex schools which allow parent/carers parking on their site’.

Mr Carpenter said: “It is almost certainly the case that very few, if any, schools in the area are situated at the end of a number of cul-de-sacs, nor were they given planning permission with the specific proviso that car parking should be provided to alleviate parking problems in these surrounding cul-de-sacs. It is the case that the school was allowed to exist because it provided a car park.”

A consultation was launched on October 11 this year into the plans. The consultation ended on November 1 and will now go to committee for consideration.

There have been a number of oppostion letters posted on the planning application from neighbouring residents. One letter read: “The removal or reduction of car parking space in the school will ‘considerably’ increase the parking problems in neighbouring roads.”

Residents said there could be parking problems in Dunbar Drive, Woburn Close, Grovelands Road, Cameron Close and Dewent Close as a result of the proposal, and said the number of pupils had increased in recent years, seeing more traffic.