PLANS for a new 640-pupil primary school have been the go ahead by councillors. The new school - which will replace the former Hothfield and Aire View junior and infant schools in Silsden - went before Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee yesterday. Last year, the Council 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 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 at Hawber Cote Lane.
Prior to the plans going before the committee, Keighley MP John Grogan raised concerns that vehicles taking children to and from the school would cause parking and congestion problems in residential streets surrounding the proposed site.
And while he accepted the need for a new school facility to meet the needs of the next generation, he said the site should be designed to the quality of life of current residents is not adversely affected.
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.
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Rebecca Whitaker (Con, Craven) requested the panel defer the application until a full traffic assessment has been carried out.
While she acknowledged the town welcomes a new school for its children, she said: “The highways consultation report itself describes the two junctions into Bolton Road as being ‘substandard’ and of there ‘being no realistic measures that could be implemented to improve visibility at these junctions’.”
She added there are many “outstanding issues” and said highways advice has not “seriously addressed” the issues raised.
However the officer said a full assessment had been carried out and accident statistics for the junctions had been looked at which showed there had been two slight incidents, but nothing major.
Proposed traffic measures include a 20mph speed limit in nearby streets, plateaus at junctions along Howden Road, on-street parking bans in places, and a new Puffin crossing at Bolton Road.
Christophe Hamard, from Bradford Council’s Education Building Team, said other sites had been looked at but were either too close to the industrial site, on a flood plain or were unaffordable.
An extra condition was also added to the application regarding a green travel plan, which would be reviewed after 12 months, to look at pedestrian access to the school, maximising pedestrian opportunities and the management of the pick up and drop off area.