Date Valley School is located at the end of one of the most characterful streets in Merton.
Cricket Green road is a cul-de-sac framing the historic cricket ground and lined with listed and locally listed buildings.
The travel demands of a school in such a sensitive location were always going to be problematic and so it has proved.
The school has a travel plan which bars parents from driving up to drop off and collect children and it encourages a walking train from The Canons.
It is honoured only in the breach. Major parking problems along Cricket Green and in Chatsworth Place are a more than daily occurrence during term time, including fly parking, obstruction of residential spaces, flagrant breaches of the school travel plan and illegal parking on private land alongside a failure to enforce the parking restrictions introduced when the school opened.
We also have regular reports of verbal abuse being levelled at local residents who challenge drivers in breach of the school travel plan and the police have needed to attend incidents which have arisen.
Despite this Date Valley School has applied for planning permission to open on Saturdays till 1.00pm and to extend its hours of activity into weekday evenings.
A similar proposal was turned down by Merton Council in 2014. We believe the boundary of acceptability has already been crossed and an extension of hours will make an already intolerable situation worse. The application should be refused.
Read our comments on this application.
A planning application made by Date Valley School on Cricket Green to extend its opening hours into the evenings and Saturdays was discussed at a planning applications committee in October. The decision was made to ‘defer’ the application rather than grant or refuse permission.
In the mean time, Date Valley School has revised its planning application. The school no longer wishes to offer adult education on a Saturday, instead it wants to open up to older children than its current intake and to young people.
This change of plans does little to alter our views, and we have submitted a new representation – Date Valley School – extended use – December 14
The planning application will be discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on 11 December 2014.
You can read our earlier representation at Date Valley School planning application – our representation
The Date Valley School occupies Mitcham Court on Cricket Green.
The school wants to extend its opening hours Monday to Friday from the current 7.00am – 18.00pm to open much later – 7.00am to 22.00pm. It also wants to open on Saturdays from 8.30am to 5.30pm – it is currently closed on Saturdays. The school is currently a primary school, and wants to expand to offer adult education.
We feel that this is a predominantly residential area in the heart of the Conservation Area and its qualities need to be respected.
There are already many problems from traffic and parking which are being caused by the current intensity of use of the school and these are not being adequately addressed by the school’s travel plan.
There are pressures on the open space, including it being monopolised by the school during the term time and even infractions onto the historic cricket ground. The proposed extension of hours will take these pressures to a new level – into the weekend and outside daylight hours – and cross the boundary of acceptability.
We feel that this development will seriously erode the tranquility of this part of the Conservation Area and impact badly on the amenity of local residents. So we have put in a representation asking that the planning application is refused.
Read our representation: Date Valley School – extension of operating hours and use