Doncaster primary school extensions approved

Hexthorpe Primary School.
Hexthorpe Primary School.

Objections to large scale expansion of two Doncaster schools have been overruled by borough councillors.

The planning committee has passed applications to create extra classroom space at both Bessacarr and Hexthorpe Primary schools, despite residents’ fears about traffic congestion and lack of parking spaces for staff.

Work at Hexthorpe will start in mid-July and the diggers will be arriving at Bessacarr Primary on Ellers Avenue within a few days.

The biggest extension is at Hexthorpe, on Urban Road, where there is such huge demand for places, that some children living in Hexthorpe have to attend schools in neighbouring Balby.

Three extensions are to be built so the school will grow by more than 50 per cent, taking 630 children’s names on the register compared to the current 408.

And the number of teaching and support staff working at Hexthorpe will shoot up from the current 60 to more than 100.

Five households living near the school objected to the application on the grounds that it would worsen the on-street parking problems on adjacent streets at dropping off and picking up times.

Police also suggested staff should consider other modes of transport to get to and from school.

Planning officer Andrea Suddes said: “A strong School Travel Plan is required to mitigate this.

“Although this was reviewed in 2013, since 2011 the targets set for car use and walking have not been met.

“This means that more work needs to be done encouraging travel to school by means other than the private car.”

She pointed out opportunities for car sharing by staff need to be explored as the lack of staff car parking on the school site will lead to displaced parking on nearby roads ‘which the residents perceive to be a nuisance’.

The application for Bessacarr Primary School, set to increase from 350 pupils to 420 when new classroom and hall extensions are completed, received 31 objections.

They were also prompted by street parking problems caused by parents dropping children off.