New primary school planning consultation

The application for the proposed new primary school on the playing fields at the top of Queen Margaret Drive is now on the City Council website.

See below for our response to the consultation.

Application summary: 19/00733/FUL | Erection of primary school with associated parking, landscaping, sports facilities including all weather pitch, multi-use games area and ancillary facilities.

We will be discussing this proposal at our next meeting (see below).

You can submit comments on the proposal on the GCC website or post them to:

Development and Regeneration Services
Glasgow City Council
231 George Street
Glasgow
G1 1RX

Remember to quote the application reference number (19/00733/FUL) and site address (Playing Field, Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow).

See the GCC website for guidance on how to comment on a planning application.

The last date for comments is Friday 12 April 2019.

Public meeting

Our next monthly meeting will focus on this planning application: Tuesday 2nd April, 6.30pm, at the usual place, St Charles’ Church Hall, 1 Kelvinside Gardens, G20 6BG.

Please come along if you would like to discuss the school. All residents are welcome.

You can also leave comments on this page or on our Facebook page.

Meeting agenda:

1. Approval of the minutes of meeting in March 2019
2. Police report
3. School planning application
4. Councillors’ reports
5. Planning officer’s report
6. Communications report
7. Correspondence
8. Any other competent business
9. Date of next meeting – 7th May 2019

Postscript 2/4/19: at the meeting we voted to support the plans on condition that our concerns about traffic management are addressed.

Our response to the consultation

This is the response our planning officer submitted to Glasgow City Council on 12 April 2019:

I write on behalf of North Kelvin Community Council in response to the planning application for a primary school with associated parking, landscaping, sports facilities including all weather pitch, multi-use games area (MUGA) and ancillary facilities. We met on Tuesday 2nd April 2019 and there was a detailed discussion with people from our community. We voted unanimously to support this application with one major caveat – that the traffic and safety issues were fully reviewed and addressed.

Lisa Le Grove, Senior Architect and Project Manager for the Development Design and David McEwan Head of Development for Property and Landscaping from Glasgow City Council attended the meeting, gave a powerpoint presentation of the planning application, and provided us with printed documentation of the plans and drawings, and they took questions and points from those in attendance. We appreciate their attendance and the opportunity for us to discuss the plans.

Our main concerns centre on traffic and safety issues associated with the development, including:

  • We are disappointed that the detailed road and traffic plans are not specified within the application. This seems to be a serious omission, and this will be sorted out separately is not good enough. The traffic and safety concerns are paramount to such a development in the community.
  • Our concerns are that the increased traffic in the community will be a safety issue for children travelling to and from and around the school, will reduce air quality / increase air pollution in the community, and further add to congestion and parking problems we have.
  • Traffic on Queen Margaret Drive from Maryhill Road travelling down the hill is very fast. There already is an unmet need for a pedestrian crossing at Kelvinside Avenue with children crossing for Belhaven Nursery and the Happy Park play park on Hotspur Street. With a common view being that “there will be a crossing there when there is a serious accident”.
  • It was unclear from the drawings (artists impressions) where the proposed additional crossing is planned. We would prefer the crossing at the Kelvinside Avenue site, rather than opposite the school gate / main entrance. As there is likely to be a number of natural “desire ways” to the school from Oran Place and the lanes which join Oran Place to Queen Margaret Drive, there will be a need for a safety rail the full length of the pavement on both sides at the top end of Queen Margaret Drive. Queen Margaret Drive Crossings to the school would only be at the Maryhill / Queen Margaret junction and Hotspur Street/Kelvinside Avenue. An alternative proposal is to to have two pedestrian crossings on Queen Margaret Drive – one at the school gate and one at Hotspur Street/Kelvinside Avenue. However, this might not be feasible, and could lead to more inappropriate opportunities for drop-offs at the school gate. To be clear, if there is to be only one crossing our view would be to place it at Hotspur Street/Kelvinside Avenue.
  • We are also clear, there needs to be considerable traffic calming measures in place on Queen Margaret Drive, which also needs to take into consideration the new cycle lane planned in the near future.
  • We are concerned that Oran Place, already a “rat run” for dropping off at Belhaven nursery, would be used this way on a large scale for the new primary school. Oran Place also needs to be brought into the controlled parking zone plans for North Kelvin.
  • We completely support active transport and commuting for school runs, and propose that supported “walking buses” supported by Council staff are put in place for children in catchment communities, and school buses for children travelling from afar are considered. Unless dramatically different thinking is applied to the school transport from the start, the reality will be there will be many children being dropped off by cars which will only add to already congested commuting arteries into the city. We would like to see such active transport proposals specified in the plans for the school.
  • Similarly, we are very supportive of the pilot plans to restrict all cars from the roads adjacent and around schools in Glasgow at the start and end of the school day, however this would not be feasible for this new school and other fresh thinking is required here.
  • We see the need for the drop-off point off Maryhill Road, beside the Fire Station, however, we are not convinced this will work. The likelihood is that most of the cars using this will be travelling East along Maryhill road from the catchment areas, which will require a right-turn into the drop-off point, which will consequently cause knock-on impact on Maryhill Road traffic. The current pedestrian crossing traffic light system will require to be changed to include a filter to permit right turning from westbound Maryhill Road traffic.
  • There is already a traffic and drop-off issue on Kelvinside Avenue for Belhaven Nursery with cars parked up all along the pavements, we believe this could become a further drop-off point for the school unless measures are taken.
  • We would like to see traffic flow plan and modelling from the catchment area.

In relation to the plans themselves, regarding the community playing fields:

  • We welcome the development of a full size 3G football pitch which would be available for the community, given that there are limited facilities in the community. We would welcome some set aside times each week, which children resident in the nearby community could use the pitch free from charge. And a local resident discount for hiring the pitches. And it would be important that local clubs, and community organisations would have priority access to booking pitch access. We presume the pitch could be played both as an 11 aside and across the ways in multiple pitches.
  • We also welcome the development of the MUGA and would like some assurance about how this is monitored and maintained and how appropriate sport use is facilitated and encouraged.
Regarding the primary school plans:
  • The outdoor teaching areas and spaces are a welcome development.
  • The preservation of Belhaven Nursery School as an independent facility is welcome. Belhaven Nursery has a cherished place in the North Kelvin community.
  • We would prefer the “hard” playground surface to be made of a safe surface material.
  • It was said several times by the Council Officials that they wanted to make the “school building sweat” i.e that it was to be operating at maximum and full capacity and have little or no additional free space. This seems at odds with giving sufficient space for learning and we would be keen that the pupils were not packed so tight into the building facilities. 378 pupils in 14 classrooms were quoted (27 per classroom) – seems to be counter to the ethos for the curriculum for excellence and additional class rooms to enable teaching in smaller groups or additional support needs children would be welcome.
  • On a similar note, it is not clear from the plans that there are “calm spaces” or quiet rooms for teaching and supporting children with additional support needs.
  • We could not see a medical room on the plans. And we also would like to see evidence for a fully accessible toilet with a changing places toilet facility.
  • We welcome the red brick to match the colour of the buildings across the road on Queen Margaret Drive, but on some of the plans these look brown/blonde. Would be good to confirm that red brick is planned.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss any of the issues we raised – particularly in relation to traffic and safety.
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4 comments

  • I can’t make it to the meeting but I would like to say that I’m not for the school. Especially if trees have to be cut down. I have a lovely view of the trees and do not want to lose that for a view of a school. Council should not have closed down schools a few years ago.

  • In my opinion the suggested space is the wrong location to build a new school- GCC closed down schools not long ago (under great protest and opposition of the community) only to build a new school very near to two other existing schools outside the very community, which lost their school a few years back (the Wyndford). Catchment children will be travelling a considerable distance from their homes to get to the school at this location. The new school will take away open green space plus what used to be community recreational space , ie football pitches (due to neglect not much in use over the past years, but Would be if upgraded ). The increase in traffic will be a major problem at an already very congested area- Maryhill Road/ Queen Margaret Drive. The pollution at drop off and pick up time plus the every day traffic on the roads roundabout will be extreme.

  • I am disappointed that the North Kelvin Community Council have unanimously supported this application. I personally have never been consulted about the community council’s decision and I wonder how you came to your decision to support the school in that location? In relation to the application I do not agree with the location of the school. Building on the Maryhill pitches site would mean a loss of Open Space, it would contradict City Plan 3 and would add extra traffic and pollution to the area (the school is on two main roads). There are also two existing primary schools next door to this location. I have been meeting with the council, Police Scotland and others about trying to find local young people free football pitches to play on. There aren’t any suitable ones in the area that are free. We’ve had to pay to use High Park Primary’s pitches or Firhill Complex. This school proposal will take away a potential resource that could impact on inequality. There is a football group who had the will and the money to upgrade the pitches, but they were ditched by the council in favour of this plan. I am disappointed in the lack of consultation before any plans were made about the location of the primary school.

  • Our meeting about the school on 2 April was advertised in advance (the above website post for example was published on 21 March), so residents had the opportunity to make their views known to us either at the meeting or in advance if they were unable to attend. Previous public consultations relating to the new school were held locally by the Council (and advertised by us) in autumn 2016 and summer 2018.

    A number of the points you raise were discussed at the meeting. We do indeed have concerns about traffic and safety [edited to add: see full response at the end of the main post above], but see a few points below about the pitches. Meanwhile residents are free to submit their own comments direct to the City Council as outlined in the main post above. Closing date is 12 April 2019.

    The existing red blaes pitches require to be renovated because people don’t want to play on the surface and no amateur level tournament games are allowed to be played on it. NKCC previously looked into the feasibility of turning the two pitches into 3G surfaces in order to support adults and children playing sports. One pitch would be lost by the school plan, but the remaining pitch would be renovated and turned into a full-size all-weather playing surface. 3G surfaces are expensive and can be damaged by antisocial behaviour. With the school plan there would be a janitor on site. We understand that local football clubs are in favour of the plans.

    Although there would be a Council charge for using the pitch outside school hours, we hope this would be reasonable for community groups and help ensure that the pitch would be used when it had been booked. Under the plan the MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) would be entirely renovated and available free to use with no booking required. We believe the renovated pitch and MUGA would be a valuable community resource.

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