Traffic fears over plans to increase Doncaster school size

Hexthorpe Primary School.
Hexthorpe Primary School.

Plans to expand a Doncaster school by 50 per cent are being recommended for approval – despite concerns about staff parking.

Doncaster Council members will discuss a planning application to build three extensions and a new soft play area at Hexthorpe Primary School on Urban Road, to be ready for 2015.

The authority has received five letters of objection to the £1.9 million scheme, but, in a report to members, planning officers are recommending full permission is granted.

The substantial extension is needed to reduce the pressure on places, which will change it from a two-form entry school with 420 pupils to a three-form-entry school catering for about 630 children.

In the latest round of admissions to Doncaster primary schools, there were no spare reception places in the Balby and Hexthorpe area, with some parents having to send their children outside the district.

And the development of the nearby Bombardier railway works site for housing could eventually amount to a further 700 homes, putting additional pressure on school places.

The extensions will provide six additional classrooms plus a new reception classroom, and a new activity hall.

As well as 222 extra pupils the number of staff will also increase from 60 teaching and support staff to 104.

Planners have received five objections to the proposal on the grounds there are an insufficient number of parking spaces to accommodate the additional staff because there are not enough spaces for the current staff.

Residents also suggested current on-street parking problems on surrounding roads near the school, caused by parents at dropping off and pick up times, will become worse.

Highways officers also raised concerns about the insufficient number of parking spaces and the potential conflict between pedestrians and vehicles adjacent to the proposed car park, but have suggested a car park management plan should be made a condition.

Planning officer Andrea Suddes said: “The transport assessment demonstrates that the roads can accommodate the extra traffic generated.

“However, the problems associated with school drop off and pick up times will be exacerbated by the increase in pupils and staff.

“A strong School Travel Plan is required to mitigate this.

“And, although this was reviewed in September, since 2011 the targets set for car-use and walking have not been met, this means more work needs to be done on implementing the objectives of the plan and encouraging travel to school by means other than the private car.”