Against the use of Stockwell Park Road as out of hours access to Stockwell Park High School sports facilities

We the undersigned are submitting this petition against the decision to allow access to the Sports Facility and Multi-Use Games Area at Stockwell Park High School from Stockwell Park Road (SPR) which was made without a chance for local residents to object to or comment on that decision. The reasons for our objections are: -


Security

The school wish to be able to segregate the main school from the public access, so public access can be provided with little or no monitoring. This means the access behind people's gardens will be unmonitored up to 10pm in the evening.

The proposal is to erect a 3m high mesh fence between the rear of the gardens and the school. This will be a solid mesh fence, which will be easy to climb and does not run along the entire length of the public access. Once over the wall, a person will have easy access to all the gardens along the length of the school and any houses which are unlocked during the late afternoon and early evening in a school week and all day during school holidays - often the case for those who use their gardens particularly during summer. This provides not just a risk to property but to small children playing in the gardens; they will either have to be supervised every minute or will have to stay inside the house when meals are being cooked, babies changed, telephones answered, etc.

The proposal is to provide low-level lighting in bollards. While this eliminates light pollution, it does mean that the walkway will not be well lit. If the walkway were to be well lit, high-level floodlighting would be required, which would in turn cause serious light pollution.


Noise and Traffic

The SPR entrance is already used for deliveries, refuse collection and teacher access, meaning it is in use from before the school day starts to 5-6pm. In addition, the SPR entrance area is frequently used for coaches waiting to pick-up or drop- off pupils through the school year. This proposal is for the access to be extended up to 10pm, causing an increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic from 10 hours to 14 hours.


Parking

SPR parking is already heavily impacted by out of hours use. Non-residents take up parking spaces after 5.30pm and any resident returning after this time often has to park on a yellow line. This means having to move their car either late at night (when the non-residents have left) or early in the morning (before 8.30), or risk the wrath of the overzealous parking wardens. This also impacts other residents parking throughout the conservation area. With access to the sports hall via the SPR entrance, this will only get worse. Any overflow of vehicles (or even just people preferring the convenience of parking their cars on the road) will further limit a resident's ability to park. This could clearly be seen on Sundays when the school rented out its premises to a local church, making it almost impossible to find a parking space due to all the visitors as well as frequently having driveways and forecourts blocked preventing residents from getting their cars out.

The school has four entrances in total: two on Clapham Road (one for vehicles and one for pupils), one on SPR (used for deliveries, refuse collection, teacher access) and one on Stockwell Park Crescent (to be used for fire-brigade access only.) It is unfair and most inappropriate to propose that the majority of the heavy traffic and the longest hours of operation should be concentrated on one entrance in a conservation area, causing a high level of disruption to the residents of SPR. This is in addition to the fact that the school buildings themselves have been placed closest to this same group of residents, including the most undesirable components of any building, the bins store and the plant room.

At the initial consultation on Phase 1 of the school rebuilding, we were assured that the SPR entrance would remain the teachers’ car park and there was no suggestion of its additional use in this way as confirmed by the plans submitted.

We believe that the most appropriate entrance to be used for out of hours access is the Clapham Road vehicle entrance. This is on a main road where the extra traffic generated would be more easily absorbed and is also much closer to the tube station and bus stops.

In addition, the car park is bigger and there is less threat to children and property via the gardens as the residential buildings are blocks of flats, many of which are high-rise, with a better view of the access area. This plan was suggested at the consultation meeting and the only objection the planners could make was that it would be an unmanageable solution for the school, as the pupils would have two gates to pass through rather than one.

In addition, whilst the meeting was in theory a meeting to discuss the proposal and consult with the local residents, most of the residents were not informed of the meeting and the host of the meeting made it quite clear that it was his intention to submit this proposal and was unwilling to examine any alternatives. We object to the manner in which the meeting of 7th December was called and to the Stockwell Park Road proposal itself.

Sponsor

Stockwell Park Residents' Association

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