The new £4.5 million West Wight school has been given the go-ahead — but concerns were raised over child safety and lack of a pedestrian crossing.
The fate of the former All Saints’ Primary School building in Freshwater was sealed at last night’s Isle of Wight Council planning committee and it is now set to be demolished as a new purpose-built school will take its place.
The new school will, when built, host Yarmouth Primary School, in an effort to stop the increasing number of surplus school places.
Councillors on the planning committee praised the work in securing the funding for a new school.
Brading: Will provide a fantastic facility
The council’s cabinet member for education, Cllr Paul Brading told the planning meeting the design ticked all the boxes the council promised — including seven new classrooms, DT suites and a larger indoor hall.
“This new school will provide a fantastic facility for the children of the West Wight to learn and develop in and is fit for purpose for many years to come.”
Ex-All Saints’ pupil, Cllr John Howe, said he would be sad to see it go but was proud of the building and the life it once had.
Despite its unanimous approval, a condition was added to ensure a travel plan was in place at the school and another amended to ensure a pedestrian crossing was raised after councillors argued it was not safe.
Cllr Geoff Brodie said:
“Surely we should be making the pedestrian route much safer than the children having to potentially cross against traffic?”
“When you look at the site plan, there is more space for car parking than the school itself and I think that is deeply worrying — Why are we encouraging more cars onto the site when we should be discouraging the use of the car near schools?
“We have to start looking at the environmental effect of some of the applications presented to us.”
No concerns from Island Roads
Cllr Julie Jones-Evans echoed Cllr Brodie’s comments and said she didn’t understand why there was not a completely separate path for the children to use.
Council planning officer, Russell Chick, said Island Roads had raised no concerns with the plans.
Alan White, development control manager for Island Roads, said it was a low-speed environment with a zebra crossing but also pointed out there was a secondary pedestrian access.
With the plans approved and £4.5 million of government funding secured, the new school could be open by spring 2022.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed