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Proposals for school on new Haverhill estate need to 'go back to the drawing board'



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The lack of a safe drop-off point and dropped kerbs near the primary school due to be built as part of the 1,100 home north west Haverhill development have come in for criticism.

Haverhill Town Council's planning working party raised the issues when it met on Tuesday to discuss a reserved matters application submitted by developer Persimmon Homes for the scheme's road infrastructure, layout and other matters.

Town clerk Colin Poole said he recently attended a meeting with a West Suffolk Council planning officer and Suffolk County Council where he was told dropping off areas were not planned at schools in order to discourage parents from using their cars.

The layout of the NW Haverhill development. Image: Persimmon Homes
The layout of the NW Haverhill development. Image: Persimmon Homes

He was also told that there was an expectation that parents would be able to park in the new development's community amenities area and walk a safe route from there to school.

Cllr Pat Hanlon, who chairs the working party, said: "If that area is not close to the school, that is not going to work.

"The people will go to the closest point to that school and also they would not have enough parking spaces. It would just be chaotic."

An aerial view of the North West Haverhill development, with the Ann Suckling Road/A143 junction furthest left. Picture: Mike Brett/DJ Drone Guy
An aerial view of the North West Haverhill development, with the Ann Suckling Road/A143 junction furthest left. Picture: Mike Brett/DJ Drone Guy

Cllr John Burns said Coupals Primary Academy has seven times as many cars turning up as its transport plans state and Westfield Primary Academy is "notoriously bad in the morning because you cannot drop people off".

"It's not just a case of dropping people off, these are primary schools, for people who stop their cars, get out of their cars and take their children into school and then five, ten, 15 minutes later are coming out, parking on grass verges, parking on zigzags,there's no parking enforcement.

"I seriously think Suffolk County Council need to come into the 20th century. We are not talking about horses and carts here, we are talking about motor vehicles, forget the 21st century."

He added: "When Coupals was enlarged, their policy is they don't do any transport plans for six months after the school is fully occupied, well that's crazy. Are they living in cloud cuckoo land.

"I really think they need to go back to the drawing board on this."

Cllr Dave Smith added: "There are not enough dropped kerbs as far as I can see; really need dropped kerbs on every corner of every junction to make it fully accessible to people with mobility problems."

Councillors agreed to object to the lack of a school drop-off points and the lack of dropped kerbs in the proposals and to request a safe crossing point on Wratting Road.