The urgent need for a new primary school in North Swindon, which if given planning permission will open on the site of the new Tadpole Farm development, means that temporary access is needed for school construction traffic off Tadpole Lane, from the A419 direction.
Click for details of an information meeting for parents on Thursday 21 November 2013.
The temporary access would be necessary to complete the school ready for opening in September 2014. The intended Tadpole Farm construction access route – off Ermin Street and the old A419 – is being designed and built, but won’t be completed until the autumn of 2014, too late to allow the school to be finished in time.
Before the temporary construction route can be built, there has to be a formal planning application and a period of public consultation, followed by a decision by the local planning authority. This process starts when the developer, Crest Nicholson, submits the application. This is known as a Section 73 application, under the Town and Country Planning Act.
Right, x marks the location of the new school, to which an access road has to be built
The temporary construction access will need to be in use no later than January 2014. Swindon Borough Council and Crest Nicholson have agreed that subject to consent for the road being given, it will be closed no later than December 2014, by which time the previously agreed construction route will be in use.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for Highways, Strategic Transport and Leisure, said: “We urgently need a new primary school in North Swindon and we are very grateful that Crest Nicholson have agreed we can build it on their site earlier than it was first thought a school would be needed.
“We fully understand that local residents want to see all construction traffic get into the Tadpole Farm site from Ermin Street and I want to emphasise that the vast majority of the building traffic will go in this way.
“However, we hope that residents will agree that the delivery of a new primary school for the area is an absolute priority and that temporary access from Tadpole Lane would be acceptable for a limited time to allow this to happen.”
When open the school will be be run as an academy under the umbrella of the Church of England’s Diocese of Bristol’s Academies Trust. Read more
Traffic will use Tadpole Lane from the A419 – from the left of the picture – to reach the new school site
Commenting on the proposed change, John Terry, Managing Director, Crest Strategic Projects, said: "We have submitted an amendment to our planning consent which will provide a temporary access road from Tadpole Lane to facilitate work starting at the primary school.
“Providing this access route will mean that Swindon Borough Council can get on site and begin building he school much earlier than originally anticipated. We are fully supportive of the council in its endeavour to meet the need for new school places and will do all that we can to help get the school ready in time.”
Tadpole Lane normally carries around 5,500 vehicles a day. The temporary construction access road would add 20 HGVs and 69 cars a day to the number, based on information from a similar development built recently by Crest Nicholson.
A new 30mph speed limit will be introduced on Tadpole Lane, and traffic calming measures to the east and west of the temporary construction access will be installed, extending into Lady Lane. These measures were part of the original planning consent for the development, but are intended to be delivered early before construction traffic uses the roads.
The carriageway surfacing, footway and lining parts of the traffic calming scheme would be delivered after construction traffic has finished using the temporary access.
Once fully completed, Tadpole Farm will have three vehicle access points: Tadpole Lane east, Oakhurst Way, and Ermin Street. As part of the consent, a total of £2.2m of contributions for transport have been secured, which will be spent on projects throughout the locality. These include £212,000 on improvements to traffic signals to ease congestion on Thamesdown Drive, and £50,000 for local school road safety measures.