Bexley Council primary school expansion plans opposed in Northumberland Heath

News Shopper: Bexley Council primary school expansion plans opposed in Northumberland Heath Bexley Council primary school expansion plans opposed in Northumberland Heath

SIX Bexley primary schools could be expanded next year to help Bexley escape from its school place crisis.

Bexley Council is planning to take more than 1,000 extra pupils as it tries to cope with the increased demand for places in the borough - but the proposals are already running into opposition.

Neighbours of Northumberland Heath Primary, where plans for 30 more children in every year group went on show last week, are aghast at what they say will be an unacceptable increase in traffic.

Karen Tupper, of Austin Road on the Northumberland Heath estate said opening time and the final bell already caused chaos for people living nearby.

She said: "Even without the extra children coming in, people that live opposite have to put up with cars blocking their drives so they can't even move.

"Because it's at the entrance of the whole estate, you can't get in or out.

"We put up with that so we don't want any more."

The 60-year-old added: "These extra pupils have got to travel into school, but there was no other entrance in the plans to take extra traffic away from the estate."

Back in April, News Shopper reported how 149 youngsters were unable to get any of their preferred primary school choices this year and had to be educated outside of the borough.

Cabinet member for education Councillor John Fuller said: "Like many London boroughs and the rest of the country, Bexley has seen an increased demand for primary school places.

"Bexley is fortunate to have many high quality schools in the borough.

"Providing additional places at these schools will ensure we have the capacity needed for local children."

A council spokesman said: "This consultation is asking local people for their views on plans to expand a number of Bexley schools, chosen based on local demand and ability and space to expand.

"We want local people to have their say on this expansion plan and can assure residents this process will take parking implications into consideration as well as travel plans for pupils, parents and staff."

The plans

Christ Church (Erith) CE VA Primary School - 45 extra pupils in each year group.

Crook Log Primary School - 15 extra pupils in each year group.

Gravel Hill School - 30 extra pupils in each year group.

Northumberland Heath Primary School - 30 extra pupils in each year group.

Old Bexley Church of England Primary School - 30 extra pupils in each year group.

Peareswood Primary School - 30 extra pupils in each year group.

The consultation runs until December 10 and is online at bexley.gov.uk/schoolexpansion.

If approved, work on the new permanent classrooms, funded by a government grant, could start next spring.

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