Stop Bannerdale housing development and make room for a secondary school

Last week you gave positive coverage on the proposal on new schools in Sheffield.

Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 14:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 14:10 pm

Aside from concerns on the proposal to expand Ecclesall infants to become a through primary, with four weeks a very short time to consider the impact of this, I am writing because I want to see an excellent secondary school to be built on the Bannerdale site.

The proposal to Sheffield City Council recommends squeezing this school onto a former school car-park over a former landfill site, with the only realistic space for sports buildings and fields being community open space beyond a residential road. Against legal guidance and best practice, there has been no consultation on this specific proposal, which does not fit with the spirit of responses to the wider consultation.

The solution is to stop the housing development on the Bannerdale site, which would give room for an excellent school to be built, reduce future levels of traffic in the area, and retain much valued open space. The housing development was only proposed when a school was not required. Now the school is proposed the housing development should be stopped.

Whilst this would lose capital funding for the Council, the loss is relatively small in the overall Council spend, and the development would meet a small fraction of housing demand. However, the potential drawback to creating a school on an unsuitable site is a failing school, the waste of millions of pounds of investment, loss of community support, and a negative impact on thousands of children. Stopping the housing development is a difficult choice, but the right choice for an excellent school on the Bannerdale site.

Jason Leman, Sheffield