SAE have submitted a Supplementary Planning Statement including the following comments:
4. Selection of the Foxhayes Site
As Officers are aware the Education Funding Authority [EFA] and school’s initial preferred temporary site was the former Exwick Middle School and terms were agreed with Devon County Council over its use for 2 years. However, at a meeting with Exeter City Council Planning department the highways representative from Devon County Council asked whether EFA could acquire the use of the Foxhayes site instead as it was preferable in terms of highway safety and accessibility. At considerable delay to the project EFA decided to negotiate the use of the Foxhayes site instead of the former Exwick Middle School site with Devon County Council to effectively de-risk this aspect of the project and meet the concerns of the Highways Authority.
5. The means of access
As identified in the planning application documents the primary means of vehicular and pedestrian access is proposed from Gloucester Road with a pedestrian access provided from Pine Avenue. The pedestrian access will also allow the use of existing footpaths which link to Cypress Drive, Truro Drive and Gloucester Road. The overgrown path from Pine Avenue to Cypress Drive will be cut back by the school to make full use of the footpath.
6. The Travel Plan
Based on known admissions data it is clear that a large proportion of the pupils registered for the September 2013 start are based in Exeter (over 60% of parents are based in postcodes EX1 – EX4) which will allow a significant proportion to use non-car based modes of travel. As stated above, the Foxhayes site was chosen by EFA following dialogue with Planning and Highways Officers who indicated that the pedestrian and accessibility credential of Foxhayes were preferable to potential alternative locations.
Devon County Highways Officers have since commended the quality of the TravelPlan which has been prepared for SAE. The Travel Plan includes a number of measures to reduce the use of car travel including:
– Alternative Opening Hours;
– Advisable drop off points and routing;
– Staff Marshalling and Traffic Management;
– School Travel Co-Ordinator and Travel Plan Working Group;
– Subscription to Car Share Devon;
– Road Safety in the Curriculum;
– Walking Bus;
– Cycling Provisions;
– Walking Provisions;
– School Travel Questionnaire; and
– Promotional Awareness.
All of the above measures are used as best practice means of promoting sustainable travel – indeed the SAE Travel Plan goes well beyond the measures implemented by many schools across the Devon area.
Particular attention is drawn to the alternative opening hours, which mean that the operation of SAE will co-ordinate with Exwick Heights Primary school to ensure a broader spread of traffic across the AM and PM peaks. This approach avoids exacerbating the amount of traffic generated by school trips in the area. The alternative opening hours will be controlled by means of a planning condition and have been fully agreed with the School. The Travel Plan also includes an Implementation programme which has been agreed with Devon County Highways and which includes Travel Surveys and annual monitoring.
The school has agreed to work with the Devon County Council Travel Plan Officers to ensure the effective implementation of the Travel Plan. The School has taken all practical steps to mitigate its impact on the local highway network. The SAE is also deeply committed to working with the City/County Councils, the ward Members and the local community over the long term to actively encourage sustainable travel to and from the temporary and permanent sites.