New primary school set for approval in Northampton despite concern over traffic danger

Malcolm Arnold Academy, Trinity Avenue, Northampton (former Unity College)

Malcolm Arnold Academy, Trinity Avenue, Northampton (former Unity College)

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A new primary school building is set for approval in Northampton.

The two-storey building would be in the grounds of the Malcolm Arnold Academy in Trinity Avenue, Kingsthorpe Hollow.

And it would be a new home for the Malcolm Arnold Prep School pupils already using classrooms at the academy building.

However, objections have been raised by people living in Trinity Avenue about the effect of more cars on the issues of parking and traffic danger to children.

A summary of 14 objection letters in the planning application claimed the proposed drop-off area “is inadequate as young children need escorting to a classroom” and that there will be “increase in traffic congestion especially at peak times”.

Others pointed out the increased danger to children that new pedestrian entrance and pedestrian crossing could bring.

Mum-of-two Kate Smith said: “Trinity Avenue is already incredibly busy at peak times, particularly near the Homestead Avenue and St George’s Avenue junctions and we’re extremely concerned that introducing a further impediment to traffic flow during these times will threaten rather than enhance road safety.”

But planning officers have recommended the school building goes ahead - as long as a scheme to improve traffic lights and junctions nearby gets separate approval.

The officer’s report, which will be considered by councillors at the Guildhall next Tuesday, says: “Its reasonable to conclude that the proposed development is acceptable, subject to... agreement to make financial contributions and secure highway improvements works.

“The proposed development represents the sustainable use of this previously developed site.

“It reflects the character of the adjacent school building and would contribute towards the need for primary schools within Northampton.”

FACTFILE

-The proposed school would be a two-form entry primary school for 420 pupils aged between four and 11.

-The proposal is for a two-storey building with hard and soft play areas, car parking for 32 cars and an area of landscaping.

-The proposed application site is located within the site of Malcolm Arnold Academy Secondary School.

-In 2005 Northamptonshire County Council granted consent for the demolition of school buildings (Trinity Upper School) and the new build of a replacement (formerly Unity College, now Malcolm Arnold Academy). -The application site was originally occupied by buildings used by the school before it was demolished. The buildings comprised a swimming pool and a teaching block (the Pearson Building) dating from the 1960s.These buildings were demolished in around 2012.

Malcolm Arnold Prep School (MAPS) opened in September 2014 operating from classrooms within Malcolm Arnold Academy (MAA).

A total of 60 reception pupils joined initially and another 60 pupils joined in September 2015.

-It is proposed that 60 pupils will join in each forthcoming year until the school fills its capacity of 420 pupils.

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