Old Town residents are up in arms over a neighbouring school’s plan to put a boundary fence up.
Education officials at Cavendish School says the security fence is essential after lead worth £25,000 was stolen from the school roof and for pupils’ safety.
Plans to erect a steel mesh fence to raise the north boundary wall and mesh fence has been put in to the county council’s planning department.
But residents in Cobbold Avenue, which overlooks the school and playing field, are unhappy. Resident Cathy Allen said, “The proposal was made following no consultation with residents, whose properties will be substantially damaged by the fence. Many of the residents on Cobbold Avenue and Luton Close are strenuously objecting to this. The scale of the fence is disproportionate and will ruin the character of the area and the aspect of the properties on Cobbold Avenue.”
Sue Wilkinson at Cavendish said the back of the school is open to intruders and tresspassers and on the odd occasion, disaffected pupils can get out of school too easily.
“It is our statutory responsibility to know exactly where all our pupils are during the school day and if students are not in school we are unable to discharge our duty of care. Therefore the primary reason for the fence is to improve security.
“The need for a secure rear boundary has been highlighted as a recommended measure in the school security risk assessments and also mentioned, forcibly on more than one occasion by Ofsted.
“We believe it’s essential that we improve our security even further. Every secondary school in Eastbourne has security fencing; Cavendish School is only just coming into line with security expectations for schools.”