Ambitious plans for new Harris Academy primary set to go before Planning Committee

AMBITIOUS but controversial plans for a new primary school in Chafford Hundred are to be put before the planning committee at Thurrock Council next week.

For years, there has been a call for further primary places for the Chafford area. If the plans succeed, YT understands that there will be three Harris Primary schools in the area.

The plans submitted by the Harris Federation are for:

"Redevelopment of site for a five form entry primary school, comprising the demolition of all existing buildings on the site and the erection of a part one, part two and part three storey building; with associated new vehicular, cycle and pedestrian access road (to Mayflower Road), new pedestrian access to Mill Lane, parking and associated pick-up/drop-off areas and landscaping".

One of the key issues, highlighted early on in the planning application is one of parking.

One of the talking points in Chafford, both on the streets and on social media has been the extreme difficulties residents have with parking. According to residents, illegal parking, has been a constant problem in many streets.

The school plans to grow to over a 1100 children by 2022.

The application also states:

1. The residents from Chafford Hundred raise concerns about the increase of traffic that would result in Mayflower Road. One of the comments suggests putting additional drop off points on Mayflower Road. One comment suggests access should be through Magnet Road.

2. The local ward councillor neither supports nor objects to the scheme, indicating that residents have requested additional school provision in the area. However concern is raised in relation to traffic issues.

3. The education department "support proposals"

4. The following headings and content of the NPPF are relevant to the consideration of the current proposals: "Building a strong, competitive economy."

The application also addresses concerns regarding traffic.

1. The applicant has indicated that there is an expectation that 80% of journeys to and from the site would be made by methods other than the private car. If this level is achieved, there will still be significant movements to and from the site, but if the level of non-car travel uses fall below 80% there will be significant adverse impacts on the local transport network.

2. Agreement for visitor pick-up and drop-off points and no less than 83 car parking spaces on the site and provision of a school transport scheme to ensure that 80% non-car use is achieved and mechanisms to achieve and maintain these non-car modes and financial penalties (to reinvest in local highways infrastructure) if they are not met.

The applicant has agreed to the 106 Agreement (subject to the education department separately agreeing to fund any additional measures required to meet

The Director of Childrens’ Services has advised that if there is any shortfall in meeting the 80% target for modal transport, the education department will work with highways to look at and fund additional measures to meet this target. This will reflect the fact that Harris agreed to create an additional three forms of entry to accommodate the need for school places identified by the local authority.

The meeting will take place at 7pm on Thursday January 8th at the Civic Offices, New Road, Grays.

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