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‘Significant concerns’ raised over plans to turn Gravesend secondary into an all-through school

PUBLISHED: 09:25 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:25 10 October 2017

St George's Church of England School could be start taking primary school pupils in September next year

St George's Church of England School could be start taking primary school pupils in September next year

© Michael Kempf

It currently caters to secondary and sixth form students

Plans to change a secondary school’s admission policy so it can take in children as young as four have been met with ‘significant concerns’.

St George’s Church of England in Gravesend currently takes students from Year 7 through to sixth form.

But with demand for primary school places threatening a two-form shortfall in Gravesend by 2021, Kent County Council is considering converting the non-selective into an all-through school from September next year.

Education councillors already gave their initial backing to plans in February to create a two-storey building, ready to teach 420 primary school pupils, with the first form coming next year.

In the proposals, set to be discussed by the planning committee next month, KCC has suggested the primary school will have its own access to the main building on Meadow Road, through a secondary entrance via Westcott Avenue.

David Turner, leader of Gravesham council, said: “We are supportive of the new primary school, but we do still have significant concerns, particularly relating to the parking and access arrangements at the school and the effect on resident parking and traffic congestion.

“We have advised Kent County Council that we do not feel the highway and parking impacts of the development on the surrounding community have been looked at properly and, in fact, they have been significantly underestimated.”

A KCC spokesman said: “Within the plans for the provision, there is considerable allowance for parking and drop off, which has been consulted on with KCC and Gravesham council planners and highways officers.

“We are planning to build a new access road into the site with on-street parking to assist with pick up and drop off, which has been incorporated into the car park design. There are also plans to widen Westcott Avenue before the school reaches full capacity to help ease traffic flow.

“There are some concerns locally about the impact the access road will have in the area. We are in consultation with Gravesham council and this will be worked through.”

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