Marlene Lento 0

Build new Tunbridge Wells school where it is needed- at Kent and Sussex Hospital site

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KCC have yielded to public pressure and conceded that Tunbridge Wells needs a new primary school- we have won the first battle!

Now we need to ensure the school gets built on the Kent and Sussex Hospital site
- to provide school places where they are needed and
- avoid thousands of cars being added to rush hour traffic each day.

Kent County Council is currently only considering two council-owned greenfield sites at the very edge of the town- in Hawkenbury and Southborough.

The Kent and Sussex Hospital site (KSH) is at the centre of an area where demand for primary school places is increasing, yet there are no primary schools within a 1km radius in the Culverden area (see map below).
All surrounding schools are oversubscribed and have limited room for further expansion.

KCC has admitted that no child in a residential development on the KSH site or any of the other future developments in the area, would get a place in any of the surrounding schools- all would have to be driven or taxied to school somewhere further afield!

The Kent and Sussex site is the only site left in the town centre, which is big enough for a new 2-form entry school.

There are 6 major sites for residential redevelopment located within 0.3 miles of the KSH site, adding thousands of new residents within the next 15 years
(see illustration).

If the school doesn't get built here there will be irreversible and catastrophic consequences on traffic, congestion, parking, car use and car ownership-
all of which KCC and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council have committed to minimize in their "Sustainable Communities Document" and the Borough's "Core Strategy" and "Air Quality Commitment".

There are creative ways of securing the site for the school despite budget cuts-
a land swap between the proposed sites and the KSH site is a real option and opportunity. The proposal has been outlined to the heads of both councils, now we need to get them to act.

Under the new Localism Bill there is a "duty to cooperate".
We must call upon our borough and council leaders to:
- avoid false economy
- cooperate with whomever necessary to facilitate a land swap or purchase
- ensure Tunbridge Wells residents and their children have reasonable, walkable access to primary schools.

We have some councillors on our side but we need to show public support to put pressure on the decision makers.

Please sign this petition and add your comments.

More effective even, if you have 10 minutes: Write a letter to our council leaders;

and copy the following councillors in charge of transport, environment and planning:;;;;

If you have any questions or are ready to do more for this campaign, please contact me.

Marlene Lento


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