Put pupils before politics and approve Bilingual Primary School for Brighton and Hove (From The Argus)
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Put pupils before politics and approve Bilingual Primary School for Brighton and Hove
12:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Letters
Given the shortage of primary school places, how sad to see the negative response of some people to plans to build the Brighton and Hove Bilingual Primary School on a scruffy old depot.
It wants to build new premises in place of this depot, where trucks and vans currently come and go. Neighbours are almost certainly unaware of the traffic because the site is well screened by trees. Besides, parents will not be allowed to drop off and collect children in The Droveway by car, so traffic levels will fall.
Even in winter, a thick array of branches will hide most of the site. The nearby City Park offices of Legal & General are much bigger and higher up yet visible only in part.
Like L&G, the Bilingual Primary School should be given planning permission.
This school is needed. It will soon outgrow its temporary home in Falmer. It is oversubscribed and, I’m told, already has about 150 pupils on its books. About half travel in on school minibuses. Few come by car – a key concern of the school’s opponents in Hove.
By the Hove Park site is the Co-op superstore. Councillors approved plans to double the size of Aldrington School last month. Many Aldrington pupils are dropped off in the Co-op’s car park to join a walking train to school. The Bilingual Primary School pupils start later – after the rush hour – and will follow Aldrington’s lead. I think residents in Goldstone Crescent have exaggerated any potential parking problem.
As for the suggestion that the miniature railway will be forced to close (Letters, September 2), this is laughable. It doesn’t even operate on school days.
With Park House being built and many more new homes planned near Hove Station, the demand for school places will keep rising.
Our councillors need to put pupils before politics and approve these plans.
Freddie Long, address supplied
This school is the country’s first fully bilingual, state-funded primary school.
On the back of our first successful year, we are working with Government agencies in planning for a much-needed central Hove primary school.
We appreciate there is some apprehension but we believe the construction of a school on this site benefits the whole community and society generally.
If the school proposal is unsuccessful, not only may this site be developed for other less critical purposes but central Hove will lose this opportunity to increase school availability.
Our proposals centre on redundant brownfield land – there is no intention to build upon the park or green space.
The development will not materially affect the miniature railway. Having a school nearby may indeed bring many new customers and admirers.
There is no intention to use Hove Park for our own purposes. Moreover, protecting our children is paramount and, therefore, the plans ensure the school will not be directly accessed by the park.
From an ecological perspective, it is true to say some protected species have been identified, much like they were for the adjacent development. However, the school has employed specialists who have advised on the necessary measures to ameliorate risks to local habitats.
The safety of our children is a priority, as is our sensitivity to wildlife and the community.
Chris O’Grady, chair of the Bilingual Primary School premises committee
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