Plans for a newly built school on the site of Abingdon Road playing fields have been submitted by Bristol City Council and are available for comment on the Council’s own Planning Portal until December 9th.
The proposed development would see the construction of new facilities for Chester Park Junior School, which would allow the school to abandon its cramped Victorian buildings in Ridgeway Road and expand its pupil intake. Chester Park Infants School would take over the Ridgeway Road site entirely.
However, the construction of the new school would see the loss of valuable open green space used daily by local residents for recreation and dog walking. Residents of Honiton Road, Tiverton Walk, Moorlands Road and Abingdon Road will directly impacted by the plans, with some residents backing directly onto the site.
The controversial plans were announced in May and an open evening was held at Chester Park Junior School to allow local residents to inspect them. There was considerable objection at the time and we anticipate that the local community will contest the plans keenly.
It’s well known that Bristol desperately needs more infants and junior school places and at present there’s a discrepancy between the intake of Chester Park Junior School and the Infants, with the Infants School taking in more children than the Juniors. This means that each year there are approximately 10 children who cannot ‘automatically’ enroll at the Junior school and must attend elsewhere. This plan would see increased but equal intakes at both schools.
It’s Fishponds Planning’s understanding that Bristol City Council would prefer not to construct a new school on its fields at Abingdon Road, but cannot afford to purchase empty land on nearby Goodneston Road (the old Parnall’s works site) which is privately owned.
Fishponds Planning will study the plans in further detail and continue to liaise the Council, architects and the school to try and achieve the best outcomes possible in the circumstances.
You can inspect all the proposals and have your say by visiting the Bristol City Council planning portal here.
Ref: 15/05169/F | New Junior School with associated access, parking and school grounds on former recreation ground of Mayfield Park. | Land To Rear Of Honiton Road Abingdon Road Bristol