Further to our earlier blog, ‘Psst…Don’t tell the kids!‘, we are very encouraged this week to see that Devon Highways Authority have recognised the major concerns that have been raised in regard to the transport plan within the application for temporary planning permission for the proposed Route 39 Free School at the Milky Way on the busy A39, between Bideford and Bude.
It seems that our quite obvious worries over student and visitor safety, increased transportation provision and environmental damage have all been justified, with the Highways Authority recommending that Torridge District Council (TDC) refuse Route 39’s planning application.
In a letter to TDC, Devon Highways describes the proposed site of Route 39 at the Milky Way as being in an “unsustainable location“, and goes on to say that the site “…will be in contravention of National Planning Policy Framework and will foster the need to travel and offers no opportunity for walking or cycling as the A39 from the Milky Way to neighbouring villages is without footways, lighting and the speed of traffic is between 40 mph and derestricted limits“.
The letter from Devon Highways Authority goes on to state that in the event that TDC do allow the planning application, a number of specific conditions will need to be met in order to ensure the safety of students, parents, teachers, Milky Way visitors and site personnel. These conditions include substantial changes to access and roadways, parent drop-off points as well as a major upgrading of the public highway serving the site, in order to cope with increased coach traffic. Such works are likely to cost us as tax-payers a considerable sum of money, further increasing the massive overall cost of the Route 39 experiment.
And despite Route 39’s strident claims to the contrary, Devon Highways confirm that “the location of the proposed development is likely to create the need for additional travel by private vehicles due to its location and the lack of suitable access to alternative means of travel contrary to Policies TR2 and TR5 of the Devon County Structure Plan.“
Our view is that this is the wrong school in the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong management. Once again the only people that seem to believe Route 39’s claims are Route 39 themselves!
You can see the letter by clicking on the following link: