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Residents' anger over new school plans
REVISED plans to create a 420-place primary school in Colchester have left residents fearing their quiet street will be used as a “rat run”.
Essex County Council wants to build the £5million Braiswick New Academy on land between Apprentice Drive and Fernlea.
It is due to open next September and would cater for children in the Mile End and Braiswick areas.
The first public consultation about the plans was held in January.
However, a second one has now revealed access to the site has been vastly altered.
Parents would enter the site via Apprentice Drive and leave via Fernlea.
Construction traffic would also access the site via Fernlea, as would school coaches and deliveries.
The previous plans showed access would be from two roads in Apprentice Drive, forming a one-way system, and Fernlea would only be accessed by emergency vehicles.
Chris Law, a member of Braiswick Residents’ Association, and whose home is next to the access point from Fernlea, said: “Residents are disgusted. They feel they have been mislead and sold down the line.”
Among residents’ biggest concerns would be the disruption caused by construction vehicles while the school is built on the nine-acre parcel of land, said Mr Law, 66.
The top of Fernlea is also used for parking by commuters using North Station.
Although parents won’t be able to drive into the school grounds from Fernlea, Mr Law said residents were worried they would still drop their children off and turn around in the cul-de-sac, as there will be pedestrian access from there.
“They have provided a rat run,” he said.
Mr Law said he expected to be inundated with concerns from residents between now and the consultation deadline, on April 10.
But he insisted he was working with Essex County Council to resolve matters.
An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Following traffic modelling to ensure the site is accessible for the local community and the feedback following the first consultation in January 2014, Essex County Council is now consulting with local residents regarding a proposal for a one-way system from Apprentice Drive into the school site and exiting via Fernlea.
“No decisions have yet been taken regarding the one-way road layout proposal and we urge local residents to provide feedback via the Essex Insight website: www.essexinsight.org.uk.“