The town’s economy could be affected if plans for a new primary school at Cavendish go ahead, according to a local councillor.
Old Town Lib Dem county councillor John Ungar says Willingdon Road and the Rodmill are important routes which could be in serious danger of a complete log-jam if the plans go ahead.
He said, “If this scenario progresses it could even affect the town’s economy with the log jam of traffic flows delaying people travelling to work.”
He added, “Old Town residents have expressed real concerns about what they see as becoming a nightmare traffic congestion situation which will be the result if the current plans are approved. There are six schools in close proximity and these already cause significant congestion.”
Liberal Democrat opposition Education spokesman, county councillor Alan Shuttleworth has also criticised East Sussex County Council for its lack of adequate forward planning which he says has created a crisis situation both in current school admissions, as well as in the provision of adequate school places for future years.
Alan said,“The county council has failed to ensure that there are enough places for primary aged children in Eastbourne, and forward planning for future places has been totally inadequate.
“We insisted on an emergency meeting with education chiefs, Eastbourne headteachers, governors and county councillors to look for sensible and workable alternative options for school sites.
After the meeting in July a number of other proposals were put forward.
“There has been sufficient time to assess these new options, and to hold a follow- up meeting, but this has still not taken place, which is unfortunate. ”
Acounty council spokesperson said, “A great deal of work goes into advanced planning for school places in East Sussex and we have a four year rolling School Organisation Plan which ensures we have sufficient school places for the projected numbers of pupils. In 2013/14 our forecasts were accurate to 0.2 per cent for primary and 0.3 per cent for secondary schools – well within the DfE standard of accuracy of plus or minus 0.5 per cent.
“We do build in tolerances to ensure we can cater for more than the forecast admissions and we will need to review whether there was a larger than normal number of families moving into the area.
“In terms of the plans for a new primary school on the Cavendish site, these have been drawn up in consultation with the community and in conjunction with the highways department. A planning application will be submitted shortly. The plans will go through the proper planning process, when the public will have another chance to comment.”