Client: Claremont School
Location: Westfield, East Sussex
Since the safe and convenient operation of Claremont School became of concern to the school authorities, RGP was instructed to consider the issues of access, parking and servicing with a view to improvement and also to facilitate a substantive increase in pupil numbers.
Claremont School’s access is at the A21, a busy and heavily trafficked Trunk Road, which is the responsibility of Highways England (formerly the Highways Agency).
At the time the Highways Agency had power to direct refusal on Planning matters and so it was imperative that it could be clearly demonstrated to that authority that the proposal would not be detrimental to the safe and convenient operation of the A21 Trunk Road; moreover, that any existing issues be overcome, i.e. a scheme would ideally deliver transport planning gain.
Knowing That the Highways Agency could oppose the proposal on principal, since any new access or intensification is controlled by policy (general perception against), RGP considered it imperative that it should engage with the HA early in its deliberations and try to devise a scheme that would deliver benefit for all.
Sufficient internal space existed to deliver adequate parking and servicing, but the site’s topography represented a potentially expensive build cost. However, it became apparent that by using the topography to create a parking and servicing approach and circulatory roads, delay and queuing on site could be reduced, even considering greater pupil numbers. It was also demonstrated that the queuing blocking back to the A21 would be eliminated presently and in the future.
This was viewed as of major benefit by the HA, with with proposed modification to the school access reducing the possibility of shunt-related accidents.