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'Build new primary school on site and a child could be killed'
Residents fear a child could be killed if a new primary school is built on a proposed site in Boscombe East.
They claim traffic problems in Harewood Avenue already put youngsters at risk and are worried it will get worse if the new Avonwood Primary goes ahead where planned.
Nearly 2,000 secondary school children already access Avonbourne and Harewood Colleges from one road and there are plans for a further 420 children to attend Avonwood.
Those living close to the site are also objecting due to expected noise from the proposed school, just metres from their gardens.
They have stressed they appreciate the need for a new school but one resident, Colin Feltham, said: “It could be built further down the site and would cause less problems as it will not be so close to the existing schools. All we want is that they play fair because we feel our concerns are being ignored and we are being kept in the dark about what is going to happen.”
Mr Feltham and fellow neighbours Colin Gilbey and Russ and Ali Johns are urging residents in the area to object to the plans before today’s deadline. Online objections can be made to Bournemouth council until Sunday. They have distributed letters to 250 homes which suggest an alternative location on the same site, but accessed from Petersfield Road.
The letter says: “Harewood Avenue is already extremely busy with traffic. There appears to be a much safer, more appropriate and logical location.”
Executive head teacher of Avonbourne Trust, Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, said the safety of pupils was of “paramount importance” and measures are being taken to alleviate the impact of the proposed school.
She told the Echo Avonwood Primary will open and close before the two secondary schools to help ease traffic.
She added that access to the site via Petersfield Road was ruled out due to landfill restrictions, loss of playing fields and proximity to other schools.
“People driving into the primary school will access it via Newslands Road and exit it by the former entrance to Avonbourne College. This has better visibility and the one-way circuit enables more off-road parking.”
The plans include a drop-off area and 66 parking spaces.