(While this is of particular interest to people on Gresley Road,
Ashmount Road, and Stanhope Road, there may be some impact on Hornsey
lane, and in the Whitehall Park area, including Dresden Road)
When Ashmount School was in operation on Hornsey Lane the vast
majority of children lived within easy walking distance. Even so a
small minority of parents did use cars despite strenious efforts
made to discourage car use. Even these small numbers could, from
time to time, cause congestion in a way which inconvenienced
residents, particularly on Ashmount Road near the school. This was
often the subject of complaints to the school and discussed at
Governing Body meetings. The return of a school to that site could be
expected to raise the possibility of a return of traffic problems.
The proposers of Whitehall Park School have recently begun the
process of applying for the first of two planning permissions they
will need to reinstate a school on the old Ashmount site. The traffic
impact is one of the matters they are required to address in any
application for planning permission. Which they have done. It is
their own prediction of traffic problems with which I am concerned,
and in which my fellow residents may be interested.
The planning application is for permission to put temporary
classrooms on the site until the old Ashmount School building is
replaced with a new one. (The second planning application, to be made
"in the autumn" will be for the work to replace the old Ashmount
building, which it is anticipated will be for a full demolish and
rebuild). If you want to look at the full planning application
documents are on the Council's website. It is planning application
WHY, BASED ON INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY BELLEVUE LTD, THE NEW SCHOOL
MAY CREATE TRAFFIC PROBLEMS
The traffic issue issue is addressed by the applicants in two
documents. A Transport statement and a Travel plan.
The Transport Statement lists on page 9 the no less than 12 separate
postcodes from which applications to the school had been received.
"Some of these postcode areas are over 10km from the school site,
which is considerably further than may be expected for the typical
journey to school area for a primary school. Pupils travelling longer
distances to primary school may be less likely to use active modes of
transport i.e. cycling, walking and scooters and more likely to be
transported by car, ..."
The Travel plan includes a map, which appears to be based on the
Clearly if the pattern of recruitment to this school so different
to Ashmount, includes people as far away as Tottenham, and hardly
any children within walking distance, the impact of traffic on the
Whitehall Park area , and, in particular on the amenity of people on
Ashmount Road and Gresley Road (always noticeable when Ashmount was
there), could be significant. This would be due to a greater
propensity to car use by pupils coming much longer distances to a
site poorly served by public transport.
MORE INFORMATION NEEDED
When I realised this I wrote to Islington planning to ask the
planning committee to take this issue into account. (Which they might
be able to do by adding planning conditions) I highlighted one
comment made by Whitehall Park School about the problem:
"however without more detailed information on pupils' home postcodes
and numbers the effect on use of different modes of transport is
difficult to forecast."
And noted that the information in the planning application was quite
old, the application submitted in May and that there will, no doubt
have been changes to the information. Especially as due to local
recruitment difficulties Whitehall Park have been actively recruiting
pupils from the south of Islington, Muswell Hill, Barnet and
Tottenham. (And the local recruitment difficulties have been
increased as people in the N19 area who were not originally offered
the school they wanted on the 15 April, offer day, have had
subsequent, better offers)
So I wrote to the planning committee and said:
"It seems entirely reasonable that the committee would expect to get
the most up to date information possible. Given that the school will
need to monitor admissions carefully, and has already announced a
programme of home visits to the home addresses of accepting children,
they must be keeping their records updated on a daily basis. Be that
as it may the committee should ask for a breakdown of application
information dated as close to the planning meeting as practicable (a
week before?). It might also be considered approriate to have as a
planning condition, if the application granted, which requires
regular updating on the progress of admissions.
The information needed would be the number of applications actually
accepted, and not just made, by postcode, and the number of
outstanding offers, that is offers made for which the deadline for
responding has not passed, but, at least so far, have not been
accepted. The figures would also take account of those who, having
been offered a place, and accepted it, have now relinquished that
offer in favour of a preferred place at another school. Care has to
be taken on this, as in this year Whitehall Park School is not part
of the London Pan Admissions system, is taking applications directly,
and it is entirely possible therefore for a parent to have two
offers, one for Whitehall Park and one for another school. It would
also be helpful as well as these figures to have an updated map. As
the school needs to have this information at its finger tips, it is
not burdensome to ask for it.
Without this information it is impossible, as the Traffic Statement
concedes, to get a clear idea of the likely impact on traffic."
Now obviously I am only one person. If like me, you are concerned at
a possible build up of traffic twice a day during school term, it
would be helpful if you were to write to Islington planning and raise
your concerns. this would make it more likely that they would add
planning conditions that would help.
Although the official date for objections to be in by has expired,
Islington Planning will accept comments up to the actual decision
day, so if you are prompt and send an email to :
that would help.
Also copy your emails to our councillors:
(Of the three councillors, all Labour now, Dave Poyser is the
councillor whose surgery, at Hornsey lane Community Centre, is in our
Dresden Road, N19.