I learnt last week that a planning application has been submitted to Rushcliffe Borough Council to build 103 homes on the land adjacent to the school owned by Central College. Whilst not objecting to the principle of building homes on this land I am concerned about the design of this proposal. The company involved, Bellway homes, had chosen not to speak with us prior to the application and as a result their design shows little appreciation of the way in which we use our school buildings, our social areas, how we safeguard children and respond to emergencies, such as a fire.
Presently these plans would not permit our pupils to safely evacuate our DT block, sports hall and gym in the event of a fire. Good practice stipulates that one should walk directly away from a burning building but these proposals would require pupils to walk alongside the building and perhaps even back towards the source of the fire.
These proposals also place dwellings within two metres of our classrooms gym and sports hall, the latter of which we have to use for examinations as it is the only space large enough to accommodate the numbers we need. Should a resident hold a BBQ in their garden and play music on a radio, activities which are all perfectly legitimate, then it would render our sports hall useless as an examination centre. I have no alternative location.
Finally, these proposals present two serious safeguarding concerns for me. This new boundary would place children on direct show to residents and members of the public whilst they were in our food and textiles rooms, and our gym. They also place residents directly adjacent to our social areas which are used by pupils at break and lunch time. My duty staff would be unable to police the entirety of this new boundary making it possible for residents to have direct contact with my pupils.The full application can be found by following this web link to Rushcliffe Borough Council web site. The application number is 14/02716/FUL. Click HERE to see a full colour plan of the site. I do believe these present proposals compromise our ability to fully safeguard your child. If you feel able to support this concern then please express your views to RBC via their planning portal. The deadline for comments is 28th January 2015.