Protest Against Free Sikh School

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Locals cite environmental and safety concerns

Residents in Walsgrave have launched a protest against plans for a free Sikh School to be established in the area.

Trustees want to move Seva School to the former Barclays Bank office at Walsgrave Triangle but residents of the area have raised concerns that the school will encroach onto precious green space as well as lead to traffic chaos.

Sevak Education Trust, which runs the school, applied for prior approval and have proposed to change the use of the building based on Eden Road and have also put forward their intention to build on the green land close to the site.

Prior approval allows changes solely to the building’s purpose and the trustees would have to apply separately for permission to do any additional building work.

The application stated the trustees’ intention for “some discreet external works to provide appropriate outdoor play areas and adequate parking and vehicular access”.

Link House, which formerly housed Barclay Bank’s offices, accommodated 350 employees but the school, which will be dedicated to both primary and secondary schooling, estimates that 1,400 students will have enrolled to study at the site in the next five years.

17 local residents who mounted the protest echo the objections raised by councillors and businesses, and want the plans to be rejected, citing environmental and safety concerns.

Resident Peter Howells said: “The residents question the sense in siting a school so close to the motorway with traffic heading for the hospital, the Ansty Business Park and the large local supermarkets.

“We estimate that the school would generate an extra 2,000 car journeys a day to the site which will only make the already polluted air even more toxic.

“There are fears parents will also be dropping off their kids on the busy dual carriageway.

“Removing the mound between Edgefield Road and the business park would also destroy the little bit of countryside we have.”

Councillor Ed Ruane has also voiced his opposition to the plans. He said: “I’m whole-heartedly opposed to a school being sited there. It’s a bad location.

“If additional building work is allowed to extend the site, then the mound used as a barrier to separate the residential area from the M6 would have to be taken down.

“The traffic in the area is already horrendous. There is only one access point to the hospital and the school are also proposing one access point.”

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