Consultation on a proposal to expand Beecroft Primary School

We have reviewed the comments on the suggestions made at a stakeholder event in March 2015 and have now developed a proposal for this area (see previous posts below)

We have considered local demographics, the preference patterns of families, potential to expand on the site, highways issues, the location of any new housing and the comments from this forum.

We are now seeking your views on the following proposal:

To permanently expand Beecroft Primary School from a capacity of 210 to 315 pupils by increasing the admission limit in Reception from 30 to 45 pupils from September 2017.

This consultation will run from Monday 18 January 2016 to Friday 12 February 2016 at 4pm and during this time there will be drop-in sessions at the school where you can have your say or find out more.

The drop-in sessions will be held at Beecroft Primary School as follows:

Wednesday 3 February 2016  8.15am – 9.15am

Wednesday 3 February 3.00pm – 4.00pm

You may leave a comment or discuss this proposal below. If you wish to respond formally, please click on this link to take our survey. You can find out more information from our Consultation booklet

You can contribute to this part of the discussion until Friday 12 February at 4pm.

If any of the information above is required in large print / braille / alternative language version of the document please contact us.

email: educ.school.organisation@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds City Council, PO Box 837, Capacity Planning and Sufficiency Team, c/o Town Hall, Leeds, LS1 9PZ

The consultation on the proposal to expand Beecroft Primary School has now closed.

 We are currently collating all of the responses and will provide an update in due course.

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6 Comments

  1. It is very difficult to comment on this proposal because almost no information has been provided. Where can we find actual information?

    For instance:

    – Will the school building be extended or will the children be crammed into the existing facilities?
    – How will the additional traffic be managed?
    – How will the additional noise be managed?

  2. This post has been copied from the previous forum regarding school places in Kirkstall / Burley / Hawksworth as it was added there in error:
    Posted by Ian 31/01/2016.
    I’m not against the expansion of Beecroft Primary School because every child deserves an education so if a bigger school allows more children to get an education that is great.But what I have got a major issue with is the larger number of children means more parents dropping them off and picking them up. At the moment Sandford Road is struggling with the number of parents who drive down and park on Sandford Road at the start of school and at the end of school. Because it is a dead end street it can not cope with the large volume of traffic and parents driving down trying to turn round while other parents are doing the same. Residents can not park outside their houses or even get close to their houses at these times because of the total number of vehicles taking up all the space. Deliveries can not be made because there is no room. If the situation continues or gets worse then it is only a matter of time until some serious damage is done or even more serious someone is run over. The best suggestion would be a total ban on parents using Sandford Road as a parking/drop off/pick up point. The main gate of the school and the road which this is located on should be used as it was with every school I attended not a back entrance.

  3. My partner and I attended the consultation at Beecroft Primary School on 3rd February. We are thankful to the person who came to our door a few days before with a letter from Leeds City Council which had been initially addressed to “Parents and Carers”, not to residents, and which explained that the school hopes to increase the number of pupils from 210 to 315.

    We do not understand why the residents of Gilbert Close and Sandford Road were not addressed in this letter to start with, and why we were not invited to the consultation through the official channels. Changes to numbers of pupils at the school will have a big impact on our day to day lives. We would also point out that this is not a new approach: last year the school made a large extension to their building without any consultation with their neighbours at Gilbert Close and Sandford Road. It is our understanding that it is their duty to consult with their neighbours.

    When my partner and I attended the consultation at the school last week we were told that the school already has the additional 105 pupils attending on a voluntary basis (that is, the school has taken them on voluntarily), and that the application is only to make their voluntary status permanent, so the changes would not represent an increase in real numbers. Only after we left did we ask ourselves whether this would mean that, once these 105 pupils were made permanent, would the school then be taking on another 105 voluntary pupils?

    It seems that giving the go ahead for further expansion will mean that the school will further expand, and we should see it as such. We accept that children need school places, and that the school was here when we moved to the house and has every right to ask to expand. It’s our view that the residents of Gilbert Close and Sandford Road have a lot to contend with already and the school and Leeds City Council should respect this, and that the school should not be allowed to expand.

    TRAFFIC
    Our main concern is that there would be an increase in the numbers of cars that arrive in the mornings and afternoons. I work from home and am unable to get my car out and down the road at peak times. I have been parked in a number of times – by that I mean that a parent has parked their car behind my car, got out of their car and left it unattended while they have gone to collect their child(ren). I now plan my day around the tide of cars and parents so as to avoid leaving or arriving at peak times, as much as possible, and it is a major inconvenience.

    The problem has been made slightly better now because the school has arranged parking at Milford Sports Club at the end of the road, and some parents have sensibly used this facility. Even so, every day you can see that every spare parking place on Sandford Road is in use at peak times, and later arrivers will drive up to the school in hopes of finding a place only to reverse out or do a very complex manoeuvre to turn around. This causes tailbacks for any other arriving or departing parents, and any resident who gets stuck in this has to wait, sometimes for quite a while. It often happens that two or three cars are doing the same complex manoeuvre and of course the problem is compounded.

    TRAFFIC AND SAFETY
    The above described state of affairs is enormously unsafe to the children who are arriving at or leaving the school. We have both experienced children running behind our cars as we have been reversing out many, many times. I take no pleasure in saying that it would be very easy for a driver to hit a child in this situation, as there are so many other cars on which to focus.

    EXTENSION TO SCHOOL BUILDING AND HARDSTANDING
    During the consultation we were told that the long term plans, if agreed, would be to extend the building so that the top floor of the school fills the same footprint as the ground floor at the south-western end of the building.

    The long term plans would also include for the extension of the tarmac play area at the south-western end of the building, but without impacting the four beautiful and mature cherry trees which blossom in spring and provide the community, including the school, with shelter, noise reduction and wildlife.

    It is my considered opinion as a qualified landscape architect that it would be impossible to extend the tarmac play area without killing the trees, because their roots will extend well beyond the reach of their canopies. At present their canopies nearly touch the tarmac play areas on two sides.

    NOISE
    Throughout the day the playing children make a lot of noise. We happily acknowledge that when we moved in it was clear there was a school next door. However, we do not want to live with an increase in the volume of the play, which impacts on our daily lives as residents.

  4. It is my opinion that this development will seriously compromise the safety of children at both Beecroft and Sacred Heart Primary Schools.

    Health & Safety
    The Beecroft site is situated alongside Sacred Heart Primary School in a very small area, and there is considerable traffic congestion at the moment. Local residents already complain of this issue. By increasing the intake at Beecroft by over 100 pupils, the traffic will increase significantly, and the roads infrastructure will not be able to cope.

    There has been no traffic survey conducted, and Beecroft School have not indicated in the planning application how they intend to deal with the increased traffic. Parents of pupils, local residents and other stakeholders have a right to know how this important issue will be handled.

    In a planning application submitted by Beecroft Primary in 2015 (application no 15/01346/LA) the applicant went to great lengths to emphasise that there would be no additional traffic generated by the building of their new library. The application said

    This library facility does not add to pupil or staff numbers at the school. It will not cause additional visitors to the school. Consequently, there is no change to car parking or other transport aspects at the school. There is no change to access provisions.

    (Design and Access Statement at http://plandocs.leeds.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?appName=planning&appNumber=15/01346/LA)
    Now that an application has made made that will guarantee a significant number of “additional visitors” to the school, Beecroft have been singularly quiet on this issue. The application is therefore fundamentally flawed.

    If this important safety issue is addressed, there will be a significant threat to the safety of several hundred children

    Miles Reid
    Headingley Resident

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