Parking fears over plans for new school

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PROPOSALS for a free school at the former dental estimates board have been met with opposition by a local resident.

Roger Why, of Rectory Close, says he is not against the school but feels the local residents need protecting from the possible issues which could arise if more than 1,000 children attend the site.

Mr Why has raised parking and a secluded bridleway called Love Lane, which runs down the side of the site, as potential problems.

He says he is worried there will not be enough parking for the staff and that parents will pick-up and drop-off their children in the small residential streets around the school.

Mr Why is also worried about the unlit lane down the side of the school and said, “I don’t want to sound like the blue rinse brigade but if there are places where people can go and not be seen, you will attract people that are doing things that are not right because that is the way of the world.

“There will be litter and undesirable behaviour.

“It may not be the kids themselves that are the problem but people who want to take advantage of the kids.

“I think the local people do need to be given some protection.

“There are lots of older people living around here and the 90-year-old lady who walks her dog may feel intimidated and not want to use the lane.”

Edward Board, one of the people leading the East Sussex Free School proposal, said, “We have 248 parking spaces on site which will be ample for staff and will be using Paradise Drive as access.

“Compton Place Road will be used for dropping off and picking up.

“There will be no access for staff or pupils from Love Lane and we don’t foresee us using Love Lane for anything because there will be no access to it from the school.

“Currently if you call a school because there is a problem you will be put through to reception and a message is taken and someone has to call you back.

“We would have a school mobile and there will be a member of staff on duty to answer that mobile and deal with any problems promptly.”

Mr Why said, “I am not anti the free school. I think it is a fantastic idea.

“It will bring more jobs a better education for the children and that can only be a good thing. However, I do have some concerns.”

Mr Board said he understood that residents would have concerns and would be inviting all the locals to an information session where they would be able to ask questions and make suggestions once the plan had been given the go-ahead by the Department of Education.

Mr Board added, “It may be that people want a library outreach or adult learning.”

This week the East Sussex Free School Group learned they had been successful in securing an interview with the Department of Education. The interview will take place at the beginning of May.