School parking plan withdrawn

Phil Carpenter with other members of the School Traffic Action Group (STAG) at Grovelands school.
Phil Carpenter with other members of the School Traffic Action Group (STAG) at Grovelands school.

A Hailsham primary school has withdrawn plans to stop parents using its car park.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 the public.

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

The school submitted a withdrawal notice on November 26 and said it would meet with highways, road safety and police to consider a way forward to make the car park safer and possibly resubmit the application in the future.

The Gleneagles Residents Association Committee opposed the plans claiming it would see an increased number of people parking on the streets around the school.The group also raised concerns about the safety of pupils crossing roads around the school with increased traffic.

Phil Carpenter, from the group, said there were 120 objections to the plans from residents. He called on the school to consult with residents if plans were resubmitted.

He said: “It would seem that after two tries at changing car parking arrangements at the school, the head teacher still seems unable to recognise the people she needs to speak to and listen to are the local residents whose lives are being adversely affected by the current arrangements.

“We sincerely hope that, if they do want to make changes, they also talk to local residents and parents of school children before making any more fruitless applications.”

A spokeswoman for the school said: “The Governors of Grovelands School are extremely disappointed to have been advised by East Sussex County Council to withdraw their planning application.

“The prime consideration of the Governors is the safeguarding of children and this issue appears to have been completely ignored by individuals and organisations that have objected to the proposals.

“Now, as a result of the withdrawal, Grovelands School site must remain open to public vehicles and the 620 children attending the second biggest primary school in East Sussex remain at risk.

“Such a situation seems incomprehensible in 2013 when virtually every other primary school in the county operates from a site that is closed to public vehicles.

“The Governors consulted at length with Gleneagles Residents Association in November 2012 when the proposals were first discussed, and at that time the association was happy with the reasons behind the planning application.”