School move gets go-ahead

Wynyard residents show their concern at the proposed new school
Wynyard residents show their concern at the proposed new school

A NEW school will be built on an exclusive housing estate despite fears by residents that it will cause traffic chaos.

Planning councillors gave the go-ahead to relocate Red House private school from its Norton site to a new £14m development at Wynyard Village.

Many Wynyard residents raised concerns over the extra cars the school will bring to the leafy estate and said Wellington Drive will be swamped.

Several Wynyard residents spoke against the move at a meeting of Stockton Borough Council’s planning committee yesterday.

Tony Maxwell said the move would create more than 2,200 car journeys a day as the school increases in size to over 800 pupils.

Mr Maxwell said: “It is a phenomenal number of cars coming into this particular site.

“The school can only be viable if it attracts pupils from the whole of South Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire.

“There are no public transport links into and out of Wynyard, meaning all the staff and approximately 70 per cent of pupils will arrive at the school by car.”

But other Wynyard residents supported the proposals.

Jem Taylor said: “I have two children at Red House School and live on Wellington Drive.

“I have no concerns over traffic and see the school move as a huge opportunity not only for the children of the whole Wynyard estate to enjoy a first class education, but also for all residents of Wynyard to enjoy fantastic facilities.”

The council passed the development at a meeting yesterday. Members voted 10 to 3 in its favour.

Council chiefs said the road network was able to cope with the expected increase in traffic.

The main access to the site will be off a roundabout on the A689 which will get a new exit.

Headteacher Alex Taylor said: “We are delighted that the plans have been approved for our move to Wynyard, and are very grateful for the support from Stockton Borough Council in the run up to today’s meeting.

“This will be a great asset to the area as a whole.

“An alternative entrance on Wellington Drive will be available for Wynyard pupils, which will use a long driveway and turnaround point which is well inside the school premises.

“This will ensure that parents will not be parking along Wellington Drive.”

The school, which will make its new buildings and sports facilities available to the whole community, is due to open in September 2013.