SILSDEN’S planned 640-pupil primary school will badly affect local residents’ quality of life, warns Keighley’s MP. John Grogan fears vehicles taking children to and from the school will cause parking and congestion problems in residential streets surrounding the proposed site. He is backing residents who claim the school – which will replace the former Hothfield and Aire View junior and infant schools – could cause “great disturbance to the lifestyles and serenity” of its neighbours.
Mr Grogan said: “While Silsden is in need of investment in a new school facility that fully meets the needs of the next generation, such a site should be designed so as not to adversely affect the quality of life of current residents.
“The main issue with the current site design appears to be that the traffic provisions will be inadequate for residents and school users alike.”
Silsden Town Council and district councillor Adrian Naylor have also raised concerns over access to the school site, which would be built on fields between Bolton Road and the Daisy Hill area, near Silsden Park.
But Bradford Council traffic engineers believe their proposed traffic measures will tackle potential problems without comprising road safety.
These measures include a 20 mph speed limit in surrounding streets, plateaus at the junctions along Howden Road, on-street parking bans in some places, and a new Puffin crossing at Bolton Road.
Mr Grogan put forward his views in advance of a meeting of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee on Thursday, May 31, to discuss the full planning application for the school.
The council last year unveiled initial proposals for the school buildings, grounds and access roads after an extensive search for a suitable site for a new school to relieve overcrowding at the existing Silsden schools.
Hothfield and Aire View merged last September to become Silsden Primary School, using both their existing sites, in readiness for the move to the new site.
The latest plans state that the new school would initially be three-form entry, including a nursery, with a “future-proof” design with enough room for a fourth form.
A public footpath running east-west through the site would be diverted to safeguard pupils.
The council admits that because the school site is located at the edge of Silsden, most pupils are likely to travel to school by car.
District and town councillor Adrian Naylor, while accepting the school site was the most viable in Silsden, this week expressed concern lack of consultation about potential road problems.
He said the original school plans were published last October, but until last week highways officers had not revealed their ideas for traffic management, giving politicians and public little time to respond.
He said: “I find it extraordinary that a planning application has sat there for eight months, yet we only get the critical bit that affects most people a week or so before the actual meeting.”
Silsden Town Council, while saying it was not opposed to new school, also raised concerns over access.
It added: “The new-look school design is not in keeping with the rural landscape adjacent to greenbelt, nor does it reflect the buildings currently in the area. The flood risk and water management is of high concern.”