Concern over school's expansion plans

By Connie Osborne Friday 08 February 2013 Updated: 08/02 10:00

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Buy photos » An image of what Alcester Academy’s new building could look like. (s)

A TOP performing school in Alcester has announced plans to increase in size to take on more students.

But residents and councillors have called for a re-think over proposals by Alcester Grammar School as they fear an increase in pupils will result in more vehicles dropping off and picking up students leading to dangerous parking and traffic safety issues.

The Birmingham Road school wants to construct a new three storey building which includes science labs and classrooms to allow for an increase in pupil numbers, starting with an extra 30 places from September.

Alcester Town councillors have objected to the plans claiming they do not address parking and traffic issues outside of the school.

A statement from the council said: "It is considered a new Transport Plan is required addressing the on-street parking, and a managed transport plan for the bus access, including adequate safety arrangements for the students."

A Ragley Mill Lane resident added: "Currently there is already a problem, the entrance to what is the Old Mill at the end of Ragley Mill Lane is increasingly blocked with cars making it difficult for residents to enter their own driveway. Vehicles turning is an issue too."

But principal Iain Blaikie said demand for pupil places was growing and the expansion was necessary.

Currently over 1,000 students a year apply to the school which is ranked 30th nationally for its GCSE results. Last year there were 500 applications alone for students wanting to enter Year 12, despite the entire sixth form only having capacity for 550 pupils.

"We are a very popular school, not just in our town but also for neighbouring areas. A lot of students want to come here and we want to provide them with the opportunity to do so," Mr Blaikie said.

He added he was aware of concerns about increased traffic but they were working hard to combat them.

"We are only busy during school registration times and at the end of the day, and we do try to minimise problems by having a very long drive which the buses come down to drop off and collect children."

Stratford District Council is due to decide on the application by March. If approved work could start around Easter.

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