Campaigners have vowed to fight plans to build a school on community playing fields.
Sheffield Council told residents they had no alternative but to earmark the public Tinsley Recreation Ground for the development.
Plans involve demolishing the Tinsley Infant and Nursery and Tinsley Junior to move pupils from the air pollution caused by the shadow of the M1.
As the council launched a public consultation, residents voiced fears the plans will bring traffic and pollution to their doorstep.
Posters have been put up in the windows of homes across Tinsley to demonstrate the community’s strength of feeling at the prospect of losing one of the few public green spaces left in the area.
Sabi Akram, of nearby St Lawrence Road, said: “The council needs to look at alternative suggestions.
“Tinsley has suffered a lot of deprivation and I seriously doubt amalgamating two schools to a site 10 yards away is going to alleviate pollution problems.
“The council is going against its own Green and Open Space strategy.”
Campaigners say they will continue to fight – but fear it is a merely a formality.
Tinsley resident Muzahar Rahman said: “Tinsley is a neglected part of Sheffield. It feels like the decision has already been made.”
Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said the site had been identified because it needed room to provide 90 extra pupil places.
She said: “We would not be proposing to build a school on a playing fields site if we thought there was any other place.
“We will look and see if we can replace green space elsewhere.”