Warden Hill Primary School is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, but its buildings need extensive refurbishment. For the most efficient use of the local authority’s resources, it was proposed to demolish and replace the existing infant and junior schools with a single, new, fit for purpose building. Cotswold Transport Planning was appointed to support the planning application on matters associated with travel and transport.
Issues & Solutions
The school is to remain as 2FE and so there is to be no increase in pupil numbers. However, the replacement of the buildings gives an opportunity to review access and improve the internal layout of parking and servicing of the site. Where necessary, some off-site pedestrian improvements could also be considered.
Cotswold Transport Planning produced a Transport Statement, Construction Traffic Management Plan and Travel Plan for the new scheme. The Travel Plan was produced to complement the ‘School Streets’ initiative currently operating in the vicinity of the site. This experimental street order (one of only three in the county) involves closing roads around the school to motorised users during the beginning and end periods of the school day. With these traffic restrictions in place, travel by sustainable modes is encouraged and it’s expected that there will be a resulting improvement to highways safety and a reduction in exposure to air pollution for pupils.
Meanwhile, the Construction Traffic Management Plan was produced to address the challenge of getting large vehicles into the site via a narrow access road while allowing the existing school to remain fully operational during construction of the new buildings.
In their consultation response, the Highways Officer commented that the Travel Plan produced by Cotswold Transport Planning is “to a consistently high standard with clear actions and timelines”. Consequently, the application was permitted, and Warden Hill Primary School can now look forward to a fitting environment for the high-quality education it delivers.