Burgess Hill Special Needs School Approved
and Gentlemen. It was always going to be a
the West Sussex Planning Committee have finally
approved plans for themselves to build the
new special needs school on their own land.
This will enable them to sell off the land
on which Newick House school stands for housing
and make a lovely profit.
the future, when phase two of the development
is completed, the council will also be able
to sell off the land at Court Meadow school
and make even more money.
The most prominent complaint was how the council
appeared to ignore all other potential sites
for the school when presented with a long
list of reasons from the public for why the
land at Oakmeeds wasn't the best choice on
which to build the new school.
Land by the Triangle Leisure center, Victoria Business Park,The Abbotsford
Pupil referral unit and redevelopment of Court
Meadow were all suggested as alternative locations to Oakmeeds. The council chose to ignore all these possibilities and stuck with the location that would cause the most disruption and upset to those in the area.
The big losers in all of this are the pupils
at Oakmeeds Community College.
Their lovely school field will essentially
be chopped in half, ruining the beautiful
scenery that can be viewed from the
Break times on the field in the Summer will
never be the same again, no more enjoying
the shade of the oak trees.
The iconic running track, steeped in historic
feats of great athletic ability, lost forever.
In fact, there may not even be room to re site
the track on the remaining land.
own artists impression - The proposed
plans for the special school, taking up half
of the Oakmeeds field.
all-weather floodlit sports pitch will be
installed on the field, members of the public
will have the ability to book it for their
own use outside of school hours and and weekends.
This addition to the landscape will ensure
that the residents directly sited on the Oakmeeds
boundary will never truly have any peace
The public footpath that runs from Station
road, through the school grounds and onto
Chanctonbury road will be closed off, inconveniencing
those that use the route as a quick and safe
way of accessing the town centre.
Additionally, we can't
be forgetting the loss of the hugely popular
children's play park, a facility which Mid
Sussex District Council have chosen not to
have re sited in the area and will instead
accept a payment from WSCC for the land.
Increased traffic from the new school is possibly
going to have the biggest impact on the local
area. It's a nightmare to travel along Chanctonbury
Road during school start and finish times
at the moment with cars forced to mount the
pavement to let oncoming traffic pass due
to all the commuters that park in the residential
road. The road already serves as bus and driving test routes.
What's most disappointing in this whole situation
is how the public consultation appeared to
stand for nothing, although it's not surprising.
The council let the people have their say,
but that doesn't mean that they had to take
their concerns on board and act on them.
Well done to all those that campaigned against the location of the new special school, for those that attended meetings and the residents that took the time to send emails and letters to West Sussex County Council. Its a shame your efforts were in vein.
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