Resident begins campaign against school expansion

St Catherines Catholic Primary School in Littlehampton. Photo by Jon Rigby

St Catherines Catholic Primary School in Littlehampton. Photo by Jon Rigby

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A Littlehampton resident has expressed her concern over a proposal to expand a local primary school.

Pat Haggerty, of Amberley Close, Littlehampton, claims residents have not been informed about the decision to expand St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School, in Highdown Drive, Littlehampton.

West Sussex County Council wants to extend the school’s intake from 200 to around 400 pupils over six years by increasing the yearly intake by 30.

The county council told the Gazette residents had been asked to provide feeback, but Mrs Haggerty disputes this.

“West Sussex County Council is telling porkies because we have not been informed” she claimed.

“The first I heard of this was from a letter the school gave my granddaughter who attends the school. I then saw the headline in the Gazette and thought I need to do something about this.

“I started a petition on Monday and so far it has 75 to 80 signatures from residents who had no idea about the proposal.”

Mrs Haggerty is concerned the increased intake of students will cause traffic problems in Highdown Drive, Amberley Close and neighbouring roads.

She added: “The parking is just about manageable at 8.30 and 9am but if you came down here at 3.15pm for the school pick-up then you would see the potential dangers. There are cars parked on the pavement, across drives and cars turning round. Increasing the number of students increases the risk of something serious happening.”

But the county council said residents have been asked to fill in an online feedback form before the deadline of December 21.

Christine Field, cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “We’re hoping the consultation will determine whether there is support to expand schools.

“It’s crucial that members of the public raise any concerns, advice or views on how this might be implemented.

“This way, should the proposed plans goes ahead, we can ensure that we carry out the changes in the best possible way and with residents’ opinions in the forefront of our minds.”

St Catherine’s is one of three local schools featured in the plan, which also includes proposals to extend The Angmering School and St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School in Angmering.

The county council will be holding a consultation about the plans on Tuesday (December 13) from 3.15pm to 7pm at the The Angmering School in Station Road, Angmering. At the event, people have the opportunity to go along and dicuss the proposals in person with members of the council.

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