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Infrastructure - Expansion of School Places in Billericay

You will see from Committee News that a member of BDRA’s Committee planned to go to the meeting for the proposed expansion of school places by 210 at Brightside Primary School. Below is the response to Essex County Council from BDRA to this proposal.

BDRA supports in principle the expansion of schools capacity in Billericay in order to keep pace with population growth. However, Brightside School is not particularly near any site proposed for new housing development in the Basildon Draft Local Plan.
We think that the best solution for Billericay would be a completely new primary school, sited and planned to properly accommodate the transportation of pupils to and from it. In the absence of that optimal solution, substantial expansion of existing schools must properly take account of the necessary associated infrastructure enhancements.

The main concern of nearby residents regarding Brightside expansion is traffic and parking. We understand that the school site currently has no parking nor drop-off/collection facilities for parents transporting pupils to and from school by car. There are already severe problems at school start and finishing times due to traffic congestion, blocking of road access and private driveways, and flouting of parking restrictions, including double yellow lines. Some residents say that they have been verbally abused by parents when challenging these practices. There appears to be no effective enforcement of parking restrictions. It is feared that the additional 210 pupils will exacerbate the problem further, especially if many of them live a distance away and are ferried to and from school by car.

BDRA considers that expansion of this school without resolution of the traffic and parking problems would be unacceptable, causing even more ongoing inconvenience and distress to residents in the nearby streets. We recommend that Essex Highways and South Essex Parking Partnership be brought into the discussions at this stage. This would be with a view to finding a creative solution to the problem, which might affect the nature and content of the expansion project.

A considerable number of residents in the locality of the school are BDRA members, and we would appreciate being kept informed of developments, and involved in subsequent discussions etc as the consultation and project proceeds.