ePetition details

Location of a new Primary School for Bishop’s Cleeve

We the undersigned petition the council to Build a Bishop’s Cleeve Primary School in the north of the village not Kayte Lane

We the undersigned petition the council to Build a Bishop’s Cleeve Primary School in the north of the village not Kayte Lane Following revised figures for School place demand it was identified by GCC that a new 3 form entry primary school is now needed to serve the many new residents of Bishop’s Cleeve.

With hundreds of new home’s built in the north of the settlement the County Council are investigating a site on the far south of the settlement at Kayte Lane. Residents are calling for the Council to see sense and ensure that a school is built within or as close as possible to the new housing developments (as per the councils own policy standards) so that children and parents can walk and cycle safely to school and it is accessible and inclusive without a car.

The site at Kayte Lane is not suitable for the following reasons:

1) It is located to the far South of the settlement, making it difficult to access for the community in which it is intended to serve.
2) Protected Green belt land - unlikely to meet the test for development
3) Used as playing field - (again this is protected)
4) The site access road will need significant highways work to be suitable for the level of traffic.
5) The site and road is prone to flooding

Alternative sites in the north need to be fully investigated including but not limited to the site at Nortenham allotments where a land swap has been suggested as a workable solution by the land owner. This and any other possible site in the North of Bishop’s Cleeve must be explored to ensure the best outcome for the whole community as a matter of urgency.

This ePetition ran from 12/03/2020 to 29/04/2020 and has now finished.

358 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

Thank you for your recent ePetition. Charlotte Jones, Acting Head of Education, has provided the following response:

‘Thank you for forwarding a copy of your ePetition regarding the location of a new primary school for Bishops Cleeve.
Over the last few years, numerous applications for new housing developments in the Bishops Cleeve area have been approved. Whilst the County Council has been able to secure financial contributions from housing developers to support additional school places, none of the developments have been of a sufficient size as to be able to secure a site for a new school. In most cases the funding has supported the expansion of existing school provision. Some developments are now well underway, others have yet to commence. All have put pressure on school places such that demand now exceeds supply and to date no additional site for a new primary school has been identified. There is now a need to provide an additional 3 forms of entry (or 630 primary school places) to meet the demand over the next few years. In the longer term there will be a need to provide additional secondary places.

In June 2019 an Options Appraisal was undertaken in consultation with all of the schools in the Bishops Cleeve area to establish how the additional places could be provided. The Council has very limited options as it does not own any land in the area and all of the existing schools have already been expanded. Consideration was therefore given to building a new primary school on land adjacent to Cleeve Secondary Academy (Kaytes Lane). The Council acknowledges that this may not be an ideal location for the new school as it is located to the south of the town, whilst most of the new housing is located to the north. However, it is the only site currently available not subject to residential land values which complies with the Councils policy to provide local school places, within the 2 mile statutory walking distance, for children coming from the new housing.

In October 2019, Bishops Cleeve Parish Council (BCPC) highlighted an area of former allotment land to the north of the town, which they had very recently relinquished the lease on and suggested that it might be an appropriate location for a new school. In response to this information, officers investigated the potential of siting the new school on this land. The land is not owned by the council it is owned by the Diocese of Gloucester and has been provisionally identified for housing in the draft Local Plan. The land is currently out for consultation in relation to housing development and they have confirmed that they would not be willing to dispose of it for less that residential land value.

In respect of your request, I can confirm that further land searches have already been requested in the area, and land adjacent to Bishops Cleeve, to ensure the Council has considered every available option. This includes the area of former allotment land to the north of the town which is owned by the Diocese of Gloucester and has been provisionally identified for housing in the draft Local Plan.

It is anticipated, subject to any COVID restrictions, that a final report on land in the area will be provided shortly, and will inform our options for the location of the proposed new school; enabling work to commission the school to be progressed. The latest pupil projections indicate there will be a need for the new school from 2023 onwards”