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MP adds to concern about planned Lowestoft school

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 September 2010 | UPDATED: 09:50 16 September 2010

Hayley Mace

An MP has added fuel to growing concern over proopsals for a new high school for Lowestoft by saying he is worried about the safety of children.

Suffolk County Council wants to build a new 900-pupil high school on the site of the existing Pakefield Middle School to serve the south of Lowestoft when the town's middle schools are scrapped next year.

An MP has added fuel to growing concern over proopsals for a new high school for Lowestoft by saying he is “worried about the safety of children”.

Suffolk County Council wants to build a new 900-pupil high school on the site of the existing Pakefield Middle School to serve the south of Lowestoft when the town's middle schools are scrapped next year.

Now Waveney MP Peter Aldous has written to the council's planning department to say that although he supports the idea of a new school in Pakefield, he is concerned about access from the busy A12 Bloodmoor roundabout and the effect that the development could potentially have on nearby homeowners.

Mr Aldous said that the views in his letter to the council come from his own visits to the site and local surgeries with parents and residents.

He said: “While I am in favour of the new school, the safety of local children is of paramount importance and I urge the council to clarify the situation of the upgrade of the cycle and footpaths to the school.

“It is also important to ensure that the design of the school and the construction itself cause as little disturbance as possible to the residents of the surrounding area.”

His letter, which was sent to the council on Wednesday, read: “I am worried about the safety of children walking or cycling to the new high school along the A12 from Kessingland and Gisleham...if the cycle route and footpath are not built in their entirety before the school opens, then until they are available, I believe that pupils from Kessingland and Gisleham should be bussed to and from school.”

It continued: “It would appear that many parents already have concerns about the safety of their children's journeys to school. It is not clear as to whether sufficient work has been done to address these concerns and I am also worried that surrounding streets may get 'logged jammed' and set down and pick up times, with conflicts possibly developing between residents and parents.”

Mr Aldous' concerns come just a week after the council moved to reassure parents who have to select a preferred high school for their children this coming term.

Last month, Waveney District Council delayed giving its views on the planned school so that councillors can visit the site themselves. The plans have already been delayed by the discovery of great crested newts on the site.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman confirmed that Mr Aldous' letter had been received and will be considered by the council's development control committee when the application comes to a meeting later this year.

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