08:18 Monday 16th April 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
ANDY GALL: Work will start on a new school for Hampton at the end of this month. The £7.5 million building will also include community facilities. It’s been a long, long wait, and our reporter Sam Appleby is in Hampton to gauge reaction this morning.
SAM APPLEBY: At the moment I’m standing at the top of Clayburn Road. This street is one of only a handful of streets that lead directly out of the Hamptons, and I can see in the distance that this road joins on to the London Road, the A15, and so you can imagine this is quite a busy route at this time of the morning, for people heading off to work. On the left of this street is a row of houses. It’s quite a residential area, and there are cars parked all the way along that side of the street. And along the right hand side of me is Hampton College. That’s the secondary school in Hampton. And just a little way down the road is a patch of grassy land. And it’s that grassy land next to Hampton College where the new school will be built. And that work starts at the end of the month. Now the problem with this for some people is that residents are living in an already quite congested area. Some of them aren’t happy. But the area needs a school. Kate Day is Hampton Parish’s Clerk. Kate, how badly does Hampton need this school?
KATE DAY: We’re absolutely desperate for a third primary school. We’ve got children at the moment that are having school places in Portakabins. And obviously that isn’t right. We really need this third school, so we can keep the local children local.
SAM APPLEBY: This has taken quite a long time. It’s through no fault of anybody’s really that the Council have had to try and buy the land and get that signed over to them, because it wasn’t their land. And then also they’ve had to wait for a certain point for the population to reach before they’ve been able to build the school. But in the meantime, kids have been in Portakabins. How have people coped?
KATE DAY: I think parents have just been pleased that the Council have provided additional local places. You can imagine the problem. Families have got one child at a local school. And then they have to drive to Yaxley or the Ortons with a second child. So it’s really important that we get this school and we get it quickly. What is going to happen in the meantime we hope is that there’s going to be an additional year at one of the (current) schools, that probably would transfer across to the new school when it’s ready.
SAM APPLEBY: So basically thgere will be some children starting off at Hampton Vale Primary School, and then moving over to the new school.
KATE DAY: We’re not sure whether it will be Hampton Vale or the Hampton Hargate School. But wherever they can accommodate a temporary school (class) we would anticipate that that’s where it would be. That’s information we’ve been given by the City Council today.
SAM APPLEBY: And as I’ve mentioned, the residents that live just across this road, they’re already putting up with traffic heading to the High School here. It’s a busy route out of the Hamptons onto the A15. How do they feel about this building work that’s due to start?
KATE DAY: I think it probably depends on their situation. If they’ve got school age children themselves, I would imagine they’re going to be absolutely delighted that they can get a local school place. This is a very new junction out of Hampton. It’s only been open a few months. So people are not as yet used to using it as a main route. So we’re hoping that with all the traffic calming measures that are being put in place, that that will accommodate any potential traffic problems we may have.
SAM APPLEBY: What do you think about the future? Because Hampton continues to grow. We know that it’s set to have more and more houses built here. Behind us we’ve got Hampton College, and there’s an extension taking place there, building work, a crane is above our head now carrying out building work. What about the future? Will there be more schools needed for Hampton?
KATE DAY: We know there’s more schools planned for the Hampton Lees. That’s the opposite side of the A15. At the moment, we’re not aware of any plans for additional schools within the Hampton Hargate and Vale side. We would hope that this additional school will accommodate all of the school children that we’ve got. But as you say, there are additional sites proposed. So that’s going to bring additional children in. And Hampton has its own problems, the same as Cambourne does. With being a very new township, we’ve got a very high population of young school children, partly because of the buy-to-let market. No-one ever planned, years ago, when Hampton was established, that there were going to be so many buy-to-let properties, which have instant families. Usually, people would move in as a couple, have children, and you’d have a natural progression. Because there’s so many buy-to-let, the houses are full to capacity in a lot of cases. So instantly you’ve got a very large population of school children to accommodate.
SAM APPLEBY: Well Andy, it looks like there’s going to be more schools here within the next years. September 2013 this school is due to open, and as Kate says, the area needs it.