PUBLIC BACKLASH AT PRIMARY SCHOOL REMOVAL

Parents and supporters had gathered at the Manningham offices and on the steps of parliament house, to express their anger at the prospect of losing their primary school for the sake of council’s high rise strategy.
Alternative school site Click to enlarge

Alternative school site
Click to enlarge

The Doncaster, Council Street, primary school land looked likely to be the first casualty under the state government’s rationalisation program because it was located smack bang in the centre of the prescribed high rise zone of Manningham’s Doncaster Activity Centre Town Centre Project back in1994. However the document did give an assurance that primary school would be retained somehow and indicated an alternative site further north towards Turana Street. “Although assurances have now been given that the school will remain in its present location in the Doncaster Hill strategy, it will eventually be swamped with traffic generated by much larger developments in the future than what was previously envisaged and might have to be relocated because of child safety issues, the ingress and egress problems and long queues associated with developments in Council Street and beyond”

Traffic  Out of Council St Click to enlarge

Traffic Out of Council St
Click to enlarge

according to independent traffic consultant Keeble Wilson.

The school will  benefit from the construction of a third departure lane in Council Street. This lane is necessary to accommodate peak traffic on Friday evenings and on weekends due to the commercial nature of the development. The lane is to try to alleviate congestion around the school during the current parent drop off and pick up times. ( cars backing from angle parking and blocking a traffic lane) In a submission to the amended application the school raised an issue that no safety barriers were proposed where Council Street was being widened in front of the school gates reducing safety. However, Council Street is thought to be much too narrow to be servicing all other major developments, as well as the extensive residential areas, in the northern precinct.

Bunnings Opposite School  Click to enlarge

Bunnings Opposite School
Click to enlarge

The school had objected to the Bunning’s proposal (sketch on left) on the above basis and the apparent absence of attention to risk management, safety to the children and traffic management around the school (including access, parking and attendance for school).

It should be noted that the Doncaster Primary School is more than just a school, as it provides for a significant number of community organisations that use the school on evenings and weekends. As a school it has 500 enrolments from 390 families, 52 staff and up to 50 volunteers on a daily basis. The school provides before and after school care commencing at 7am until 6.30pm school days, and an after school sport programs that commence at 8.15am and concludes at 4.30pm.

Temporary Parking  Click to enlarge

Temporary Parking
Click to enlarge

The angle parking in front of the school is now under pressure from short term parking demand which was causing parents to drive well beyond the school entrance in Council Street and into side streets to park their vehicle to pick up or drop off children. Bunnings, to their credit, have recognised the problem and have provided a temporary parking area, in the period before  construction, for parent parking between the hours of 8.30 am to 9.30 am and 2,30 pm to 4,30 pm.

Angle parking Council St Click to enlarge

Angle parking Council St
Click to enlarge

There are very real concerns of how Council Street will cope with the traffic and parking  over spill generated by the Bunnings store and its 385 apartments when they are completed…. already there are long traffic queues waiting to exit Council Street during peak periods. Given the size and  location of this huge development and the above issues  you’d have thought that Manningham council would have sought a second opinion by engaging an independent consultant before considering the permit application.  

 

DPS

School Entrance Click to enlarge

School Entrance
Click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Nick for photos and additional info.

6 Responses to “PUBLIC BACKLASH AT PRIMARY SCHOOL REMOVAL”

  1. Young Brolga says:

    Just because council has endorsed this proposal does not mean it will be built. Manningham have a history of approving developments that can’t work. There were two hotel applications it had approved that did not proceed because there was no standing areas outside the hotel for taxis to pick up patrons and one of them, already short on parking, had blind aisle parking approved with without any circulation aisles and ten of it spaces were to be in a stacker format… can you imagine how that would work in a hotel?

  2. Willemere says:

    The Doncaster Primary school has been in Council Street since 1863 and is not going anywhere anytime soon.
    But why approve such a monstrous development next to a primary school, what were our planners thinking?
    Moving the school to north may be helpful in regard to impact of noise etc. but access to Doncaster Road would still be a problem.
    Car parking and pedestrian movements around the existing primary school may have to be re-examined particularly in regard to the drop off and pick up areas which are too close to the entrance of the huge Bunning’s development.

  3. Nick says:

    There should be alternative school entries where parents ferrying toddlers don’t have to navigate their way back through heavy traffic created by these large developments. Only one way in and out, via Council Street, to access the giant Bunning’s proposal and all other developments in the northern sector, demonstrates the inadequacies of the Doncaster Hill road network. There is no east-west, north-south travel options that would allow efficient dispersion of traffic.

    • John says:

      You mean a street grid on and around Doncaster Hill? This could be one of the reasons why Bunning’s have not commenced construction. Council issued a planning permit back in May/June 2013 and there is still no sign of activity on site and the Westfield multi-deck car park, approved last year and yet to start, might have the same issues. The five level car park building might present even bigger problems because it will be located more than 250 metres from both Williamsons and Doncaster Roads.

  4. Valcurl says:

    Our cash strapped Government might have the excuse it needs if it still wants to sell the primary school site to a developer. It could quite rightly argue that a primary school does not belong opposite such a high density development. The school land, if rezoned, could fetch upwards of $20 Million. In October 2011 I attended a meeting at the council offices where the public were invited to ask questions about planning issues. They recorded the questions and published the answers the following week. I had asked about the future of Council Street Primary School but there was no response to my question among answers listed on the council website

  5. Less says:

    The alternate site shown here looks like it is just taking over the sports oval the kids use every day.

    Surely the new residents moving into these apartments could have kids, they would need to go to school, so surely the school should be considered for growth, not giving up it’s sports grounds for traffic. Especially when the kids in the high rises won’t have a back yard of their own to use….

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