Arguments in letters supporting the Cavendish primary school are based on inaccurate information and misconceptions. I share M Stewart’s concern about heckling, not because it is bad manners but because it is probably counter-productive. It does, however, reflect the frustrations of local residents who feel that the proposal is being bull-dozed through with inadequate debate, paucity of transparent empirical evidence and with injudicious haste. This meeting was not about the need for a new primary school; it was about the potential impact of locating it on the Cavendish School site, especially when other credible and more appropriate locations are available. There were at least two other meetings that day and all were attended by a cross section of interested stakeholders and not just by ‘retired people’ (although I am not sure why retired people should not have an opinion).
JB Barnes dismisses the questions of traffic as ‘an irrelevance’. This is farcical, if not slightly disturbing; it assumes that schools can go on expanding without any constraints and regardless of the impact on the environment, road systems, the community, etc. Residents’ concerns are as much about the collective impact of increased traffic in a part of the town that is at real risk of debilitating congestion at peak times, with the inevitable subsequent delays, as they are about the relentless increase in parking congestion and its attendant problems.
We hope that the planning process is robust enough to provide an objective assessment of the potential impact of the proposed development.