Consultation extended on school expansion plans

RESIDENTS are being given another chance to voice their views on the expansion of two Portishead schools.

A public meeting, organised by North Somerset Council, will take place at Somerset Hall in Portishead’s High Street, at 6.30pm on September 24.

Public feeling is running high over plans to turn High Down Infant and Junior schools into two 420-place primary schools, increasing the schools’ overall intake by 210.

A consultation period, due to expire at the end of September, has been extended until October 12 following complaints of flaws in the consultation document and a lack of information available to the public.

A revised consultation document has also been drawn up and is due to be released on Friday.

Parents of children already at the schools are concerned that play space and educational facilities will be reduced if the expansions go ahead, while neighbours of the school are worried about the added traffic chaos more pupils and extra staff will bring.

Parents living in the Village Quarter area say the school spaces are needed nearer to the demand, which is in the new developments, not at High Down.

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They have formed an action group to campaign for this and members met with Jeremy Blatchford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services, on August 31 to present their suggestions to help solve the Village Quarter schools’ crisis.