Confirmed victory

Petition Calling for the Planning Permission and Conservation Area Consent for the Greenwich Free School to be Granted.

This petition made change with 118 supporters!

Greenwich Free School (GFS) is a new secondary school within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Recently opening in September 2012, it currently has 100 year 7 pupils in attendance and when at full capacity will hold 500 year 7-11 pupils with an additional 200 in sixth form. GFS has already proven to be a very popular choice for prospective 2013 pupils, with 640 applications for a maximum of just 100 places; accordingly the expected catchment area for school admissions is anticipated to be small and within walking distance or short bus journey for a great deal of pupils.In order to accomodate the expected 100 new year 7 pupils in September 2013, it is required that an additional building be erected adjacent to and behind the current building Adair House. Adair House itself will undergo a sympathetic restoration as fitting for its age and the new building shall be no taller than Adair House itself. The proposed plans show the new building within the perimeter of the existing plot and in no way encroaching onto Woolwich Common which lies directly behind.   The transport survey undertaken by Sanderson Associates in March 2012 revealed that the Adair House site was a suitable location for the school with regards to both cycling and public transport accessibility and that the expected number of two way car trips within the morning or afternoon period for parents taking pupils to and from school would be less than 30 per hour; the report concluded that there were no further highway reasons that the initial development should not proceed. It has been witnessed that within the first few weeks of their children starting year 7, that around 10-15 parents opted to drive their child to schoool. As the children have become more confident in their journey, it has been found that most now prefer to travel independantly via existing public transport (buses), leaving only 5 parents currently taking their car. This is a trend that it is expected to continue with future year 7 groups, once children gain confidence after initial start at secondary school. We therefore feel that the increase in number of future GFS pupils is unlikely to cause any significant increase in local traffic. With regards to existing and future parking arrangements, the school have communicated clearly and firmly with parents upon their desire to maintain good community relations and that parents refrain from at any point parking their vehicles at locations that may inconvenience local residents. This advice has now been adhered to by all driving parents.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich's publication Profile of Children & Young People in Greenwich (2011) itself states that, 'Greenwich will need around 1000 additional secondary school places for children aged 11-15 years, over and above the current provision of 12,600 to cater for the 13,637 pupils the GLA estiates will be on roll by 2019'. What may also be seen in figures published in the same document which reveal that the number of 11-15 year olds in the borough was stated as being 14,660 in January 2012 with a projected rise to 15,553 by January 2016. The shortfall in places has been compensated for by the trend of many Greenwich pupils preferring to be educated in the secondary schools of neighbouring boroughs such as Bexley and Bromley; further argument for local need of Greenwich Free School within the community it serves.

We are a grouprof parents of current GFS pupils and have created this petition in order to offer our absolute support, in what we believe to be an outstanding local school for the community. It is our firm belief that the school offers great benefits to current and prospective pupils and their parents, without detriment to neighbourIng residents and conservation area.

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