Folders Meadow To Be Officially Proposed As The Construction Access For Woodlands Meed's New College
10th March 2020 |
Folders Meadow Playing Fields could be used as the construction access for the proposed £20 million Woodlands Meeds College rebuild after Burgess Hill Town Council voted in favour of this route.
The town council manage the land on behalf of 'Fields In Trust' and will be contacting the charity to let them know of their support for this site access.
The route would see construction vehicles enter Folders Meadow via a specially created entrance from Folders Lane, then travel to the north east corner of the playing field where it meets the Woodlands Meed College field boundary through a patch of overgrowth which would need to be removed.
The only other access point would be via Birchwood Grove Primary School. It would involve construction vehicles making their way along a windy, narrow residential road (Wykeham Way), then down the shared school drive, through part of the school's recreation area - which is right next to the main school building - in order to gain access to the Woodlands Meed college field - the site of the proposed new build.
West Sussex County Council have identified the access as a hurdle to get over before they can start laying out
a development plan timeline for the project. The college's supporters are also awaiting the business case to be approved in May to really know that the £20 million rebuild is actually going to become a reality.
Speaking at the town council meeting on Monday evening, Chair of Governors Marion Wilcock said:
"The access from Folders Lane would be the least worst option. It causes less disruption to the immediate residents, it causes less disruption to the children at Birchwood Grove School, and not least, the least disruption to Woodlands Meed pupils - because what people tend to forget is our children with special needs have sensory perception problems, noise disruptions, dust, situations out of the normal is very distressing for them."
"We're only talking about a 14-18 month construction period, absolutely max."
Marion went on to explain how the changes to the park after the works are completed would be 'absolutely minimal' due to the effectiveness of the panels which are laid down to act as the temporary road. She uses the example of the temporary surface at Ashenground Woods in Haywards Heath and how the soil underneath looked fine after the work was finished.
As for tackling the covenant on Folders Meadow, Marion pointed out that they'd only be looking to have it waived for 18 months and not applying to have it permanently removed. She is confident that the benefits of having a new Special Needs School constructed would lead to a favourable decision being made.
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