Parents launch campaign over plans to develop Sheffield infant school site

Parents at Holt House Infant School have started a campaign against Sheffield Council school expansion plans
Parents at Holt House Infant School have started a campaign against Sheffield Council school expansion plans
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A campaign has been launched by parents concerned at plans to develop the site of a popular infant school.

Sheffield Council has started a six-week consultation into proposals to create extra school places across the city, including building two new secondary schools.

Pictured are Kitty Evans, Emma Holley, and Fred Holley, three.

Pictured are Kitty Evans, Emma Holley, and Fred Holley, three.

Parents of children at Holt House Infants are concerned at plans to merge the school with Carterknowle Juniors to create a new through primary and build a 1,200-place secondary school on the site.

The proposals could see up to 1,921 children learning on the same space as is currently occupied solely by Holt House Infants.

Parents have launched a campaign and online petition against the plans, which they claim would reduce the amount of space per pupil from 42 square metres to just seven.

Increased pollution and traffic, loss of green space provision during building work and safeguarding are among their objections.

Pictured is Liam Heslop

Pictured is Liam Heslop

Parent Helen Sushams, of Carterknowle, said: “Local parents are aware of the pressing need for increased primary and secondary places in South West Sheffield.

“However, adding a significant increase in traffic and air pollution to an already busy area of the city is of great concern to many parents and residents.

“We are very proud of the outstanding school that our children are lucky enough to attend. We plan to do everything in our power to protect the fantastic education that the children in this area currently receive.”

Kitty Evans, co-chair of the Friends of Holt House Parent Teacher Association, added: “We appreciate that there is high demand for places and that action needs to be taken; it is the form in which the council are proposing this action that we are vehemently opposed to.”

A Sheffield Council spokesman said the authority welcomes all ideas and wants to work with parents and residents to address their concerns.

He said: “As we have said before, no decisions have been made.

“The consultation is exactly that – consulting people for their views and working together to find the best proposals before any decisions are made.

“But it is very important people understand what we are trying to achieve in addition to great schools is accessible green spaces and housing.

“We need to be clear that parts of the proposed site in the south west have already been earmarked for housing as shown on the plans.”