Residents are campaigning against a York school’s plan to turn a quiet cul-de-sac into an access route to improved sports facilities.
St Peter’s School is applying for permission to create a floodlit hockey pitch, tennis/netball courts and cricket nets, plus access, car parking and coach drop-off areas.
But that would mean Westminster Road being turned from a closed street into a through route for seven coaches and 67 cars, say residents.
Neighbours from Westminster Road, Greencliffe Drive, The Avenue, Water End and other surrounding streets are campaigning against the plans.
In a statement, they said the St Peter’s proposals “will increase traffic flow for up to 15 hours per day, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year.
“This remains a major concern for residents; cars are parked on both sides of a road that is designed to be a cul-de-sac.
“St Peter’s wants to remove grass verges and trees in front of nearby houses so that they can squeeze in a single track road access over the roots of a protected ancient horse chestnut tree. Other trees have already been removed in anticipation of the plans being approved.
“Neighbours are genuinely concerned about the influx of traffic in this small backwater and some are already considering moving. The proposed car park’s narrow access point with its pedestrian crossing will inevitably become a bottleneck with tailbacks in both directions.”
They say the development is building in a green belt area and a flood zone. It would also have an impact on wildlife in the area, including a bat colony, they argue.
Six people have written to support the school’s plans, but more than 30 people have registered objections.
“This is a peaceful area, chosen by families because it is a safe environment for children. This will be ruined by excessive traffic, cars and coaches, until late at night,” one wrote.
Another wrote: “I am hoping that a Liberal/Green coalition will protect York residents from the disastrous environmental impact of traffic congestion, poor air quality and the loss of a large area of water-absorbing habitat-supporting ground that an already well-provisioned school wishes to inflict on the local community.”
In its submission to City of York Council, St Peter’s School said: “The assessment of the impacts of the proposal clearly demonstrates that the public benefits of the proposal outweigh any perceived impacts and there are no obstacles to a grant of planning permission.”
You can read the full plans and comment here.