Letter and email to Eric Pickles opposing proposed super school
Email from a Stortford resident and parent to Eric Pickles (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Re: Proposal to re-site two schools in Bishop's Stortford
Bishop's Stortford Schools Merger ProposalDear Eric,
Having lived in Bishop’s Stortford for over 40 years, I’ve seen the town's heart gradually removed and destroyed by a series of bizarre planning decisions, that simply do not fit in with the market town which Stortford once was and without any forethought for the infrastructure requirements.
Three classic examples of this are:
- The Causeway building; not in keeping with the architecture of the town, seemingly half used and orange!
- The Cinema / Gym Complex; an eyesore again not in keeping with the town, accessed from the centre of town over a bridge with a foot path that can accommodate one person wide at a time – how no one’s been killed yet I don’t know.
- The old Sainsbury’s car park; touted as being a development that would focus on one of the key features in town – the River Stort. The River Stort is now hidden behind flats!
I am therefore writing to object to the above proposals, to voice my concerns in the hope that I can influence a decision which I believe the town would come to regret. My reasons for objecting are outlined below:
- 700 more houses in Bishop's Stortford – more pressure on an already over stretched infrastructure and many more school places needed to satisfy the new occupants. Even at one child per new home this virtually means the need for a new school just to accommodate the new residents!
- More erosion of green belt in Bishop's Stortford – where does it end?
- More erosion to the look and feel of a market town that used to have real charm.
- No significant improvements to the infrastructure of the town both where the new houses are planned (700 houses at 2 cars per house equals 1,400 more cars on our roads) and where the new schools would be built (the South side of the town will gridlock twice a day for the school rush).
- 700 more homes mean probably several hundred more secondary school pupils therefore exasperating the perceived problem of a shortfall of school places.
- Is it true that some schools in this area have extended their catchment area rather than focussed it purely on the town’s residents needs (call me cynical but that sounds like someone manipulating the figures to make it look like there’s a current shortfall!).
- Less than 50 additional school places created as a result of the two schools moving – is this true?
I have a daughter just starting secondary school and a son who will be 11 in 2 years' time – I want great education for my children and Stortford offers this already (and has done since I went to school locally in the 70’s).
This move must not take place as I can perceive no benefits associated with the plans.
Richard BoothCC: Mark Prisk, MP