VOTE: Will an extra 210 pupils cause traffic chaos at a Felpham school?

TRAFFIC chaos could result from a plan to expand a Felpham school by half.

Parish councillors have said they were concerned at the proposal to educate hundreds of extra pupils a year at Downview Primary School.

West Sussex County Council’s education leader Cllr Peter Griffiths has agreed to issue the legally-required notices to increase the size of Downview Primary School.

Education officials at the council want the school on Wroxham Way to grow from 420 pupils a year to 630 pupils.

But parish councillor Geoff Farrell said last week the extra pupils could cause traffic mayhem in the roads around the school.

“This is something the parish council should debate quite seriously,” he said. “These additional pupils will need to get to the school somehow.

“The majority of pupils are driven to school and back again. That means quite a lot of extra journeys a day.

“Anybody who has tried to drive around that area around 8.30am and 3.15pm will know it is just about impossible.

“The impact on education of these extra pupils is one thing.

“The impact on the surrounding area is another.”

Cllr Paul English, the parish council’s chairman, said: “The residents of Outerwyke Road, Outerwyke Avenue and Whitelands all get the traffic for the school coming through our roads.

“Yet none of us were consulted.

“We were left out, but we still have to face all the traffic coming through.

“Three-quarters of the residents affected have not been consulted. Only Wroxham Way has been looked at.”

Cllr Mary Harvey said: “Emergency vehicles will not be able to get anywhere near the school or the residents if this goes ahead.”

Felpham county councillor George Blampied, who announced Cllr Griffiths’ decision, said it was hoped the extra places would be in use from September 2015.

“We need the places. The extra 770 homes (on site six) have not helped.

“Although there is a site there for a new school, it will cost a lot of money and we need to get up and running very fast.

“It will take a period of eight years before the school gets up to 630 pupils,” he said.

He said an initial consultation into the proposal was split between those in favour – 50 per cent – and those against at 48 per cent. The council received 230 responses.

The legal notices about the school’s expansion will give people the chance to comment.

HAVE YOUR SAY

What do you think? Will an extra 210 pupils cause traffic chaos at a Felpham school? Let us know in the voting panel to the right and leave your comments below.