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Petitioning Bristol City Council, Local Councillors and Charlotte Leslie MP

Keep the right of way outside Elmlea School safe for our 620 young pupils.

In the last few days, the planning application has been granted by the Council for a new house right opposite the main entrance to our school.   This is despite 17 letters of objection, including a very detailed submission from Elmlea Junior School, and an objection from the Bristol City Council Children and Young People Services Directorate.

The new house will bring with it access for cars up the public right of way and onto the property; access is right opposite the main gates of the school.  People living in or visiting the new house would be able to use the right of way any time of the day without restriction.  This leads to a number of significant health and safety issues, which will compromise the safety and security of children attending the school.  Our concerns have been confirmed/validated by advice we’ve received from our health and safety consultants and planning experts, who tell us there are safety issues.  

Why are we so concerned?
The School is attended by some 350 junior school children and 270 infant school children. Very large numbers of children access the school via the drive and cross the drive and roads at the access to the road.  All children arrive in the morning peak period. A large proportion then leave between 3 - 4.30pm but others attend after school clubs and therefore leave later on. Children also use the drive at other times in the day when walking to Badminton School for swimming, or using it as the School’s main evacuation route. The potential harm created is in this case significant given the number of young children using the route, which is impossible to manage from the School’s perspective. There are therefore frequent times throughout the day when relatively large numbers of pupils use the access drive.  

Given the above it is considered that the new dwelling will, based on the width of the drive, the number and age of persons using the access route, create a genuine risk to our School pupils.

Added dangers during construction
Clearly, we are also concerned about the added dangers during the construction phase, as construction access will only be via the right of way.  The right of way is the main emergency access to the school, and must be clear at all times.  Delivery vehicles coming to and from the school are already closely managed by the school.

These are real concerns
BBC News recently reported that more than 1000 children a month are being injured on local roads around British schools, according to an insurance industry report - see the full news item here.


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