Cumbria council set to back expansion of Carlisle's Kingmoor schools
Last updated at 16:55, Monday, 14 October 2013
Controversial plans to extend two “overcrowded” north Carlisle primary schools are on the brink of winning approval.
Planners are urging county councillors to back the latest bid to extend Kingmoor infant and junior schools in Lowry Hill when they meet on Friday.
The vote could be a turning point in the long-running expansion saga, which has bitterly divided opinions.
The crisis has its roots in the closure of Belah School in 2008, which left Kingmoor primary and infant schools oversubscribed.
Parents reported how pupils were forced to have lessons in corridors because of a lack of space, while some infant age children living in the Kingmoor catchment area have been refused entry – again because of a lack of space.
Yet plans to expand the schools were scrapped because of residents’ fears over traffic congestion and parking.
But in a report for the county council’s development control panel, the authority’s assistant director of planning and sustainability Paul Feehily has recommended approving the expansion following measures to address the congestion worries.
These include walking buses and other schemes to cut the number of cars travelling to the schools, which are both at the end of cul-de-sacs.
Parents were given the chance to inspect the plans at drop-in sessions last month. Leanne Russell, who lives in St Ann’s, has a nine-year-old son Charlie who walks to school most days but is picked up by car at least twice a week.
“If they hadn’t knocked down Belah School in the first place we would not have this issue now and they’ve missed an opportunity to build a new school on the old Belah site,” she said.
“It is disappointing we’re in this position but we’ve got to the point now that it has to happen otherwise these children are being let down again. I think the plans will have to go through.”
The proposed extensions are needed to cater for soaring numbers of pupils already attending the schools, and the increased intakes predicted in future.
Two new classrooms are being proposed for the infant school, with a further two classrooms, a learning resource centre, five other rooms and stores for the juniors. The proposals also want to increase the parking spaces from 39 to 58.
First published at 16:54, Monday, 14 October 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Yes, well said, Sheila.
So many of you are so wide of the mark.Kingmoor Junior School is a fantastic, thriving, inclusive school. My child has been so lucky to have attended the school, and it has been great being able to share in so many magical performances. The school excels at music and parents are always invited in to share in concerts, festivals, and assemblies. So we may end up with two harvest festivals rather than one. Big deal. How do you think some of the big primary schools manage? The staff know each and every pupil and the children thrive. It is not the schools' fault that they are extremely popular schools- parents know their children will get a cracking education at the schools and want to send them there. Rightly so. Get the facilities sorted and let Kingmoor thrive. Right decision made. All schools are busy in the mornings and at the end of each day.
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