BTH Catholic College Expansion Consultation Summary

The consultation evening was attended by 57 people. We received 140 written comments in total.

Out of the 140 comments received:

  • 99 were positive about the need for the additional buildings and expressed a preference for an option.
  • 81 preferred option 3 – building on open space off Urban Road / Welman Way
  • 19 preferred option 2 – building on the existing site in two blocks
  • 12 preferred option 1 – building on the existing site in one block

A number of common themes were expressed by those in favour and those against the proposal.

Consultees in favour of the proposal appreciated the lack of space on the existing site and were against the loss of the main external pupil recreation area and bus waiting area. Pupils were keen on the proposal with least disruption to their studies and residents could see option 3 would be least disruptive to residents in the surrounding roads.

Consultees against the proposal were opposed to the school exceeding their capacity, were opposed to the loss of public open space if the option 3 was chosen, but by far the most concern was raised over the current and future traffic and congestion issues faced by residents due to parent parking, school buses and Sports Academy parking. Residents expressly mentioned the recent sale of Balmoral Car Park which has added to the issues. 

Confirmed location

Since the consultation closed on 5 February, Executive Members and Senior Council Officers have considered all the consultation responses and the pros and cons of each location option. After much deliberation it is felt that although Option 3 ticked many boxes, there are legal complexities which create risk that could seriously impact the programme if pursued. Therefore only an onsite option is considered realistically deliverable. The design team is now working on an onsite solution which will be made available at a further consultation evening prior to the submission of a planning application in the next month or so. 

Frequently asked questions

The following frequently asked questions and comments have been responded to;

School drop off traffic and parking

Residents’ concerns were around parents parking on surrounding roads often blocking resident’s access to their properties.

Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College has a high number of students who walk or use public transport to travel to school (currently 86%), therefore the number of car journeys made by parents is lower than at most other schools. However, the school are well aware of the issues raised by residents and as part of their Green Flag Eco Schools Plan, they are actively looking to reduce the number of car journeys which will improve the situation as well as reducing the litter on the school site and in surrounding areas.

Depending upon where the building is located during the design phase, the design team will look to see what traffic mitigation measures can be put in place through potential Traffic Regulation Orders to minimise the impact on residents during construction. The design team have already started discussions with the Highways team to look at improving the current situation with the potential for; zig zags, signage, double yellow lines, parking restrictions, one way systems etc. We would look to support highways works after the construction phase.

School buses

Residents were concerned that on site options would involve moving school bus pick up and drop off onto the surrounding roads which would increase traffic at busy times.

The design team are working to contain bus drop off and pickups within the site as far as possible but final plans will be available at the next informal consultation / information evening.

Parking for Sports Academy

Residents had issues with users of the Sports Academy parking on Oakfield Street for several hours instead of using the school car park.

The school and Council have been working with residents to improve the situation since the sale of Balmoral Car Park. The Highways team have installed signage around the area to direct visiting teams to the Sports Academy Parking and the school will make explicit the parking arrangement and improve the signage across the site to guide visitors from the car park to the pitch.

Loss of pupil recreational spaces

Many residents, parents and pupils were concerned over the loss of the two basketball courts if the on-site options were chosen.

The design team will work to re-locate these elsewhere within the site. Final plans will be made available at the next meeting.

Construction work

There were many questions around the construction work and how this would be managed.

These questions will be answered at the second consultation / information evening prior to submission of the planning application when the location of the new block has been finalised and designed and construction methods are outlined. The contractors will then work closely with the school to minimise disruption to school activities and congestion on surrounding roads.


 View all responses to the consultation