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New school opposed

Residents of Wagner Way in Sonstraal Heights are up in arms about a proposed private primary school in their quiet neighbourhood.

The proposed school for grades 1 to 7 learners in Wagner Way will accommodate a maximum of 32 learners at a specific time.

The school will accommodate a morning group, as well as afternoon groups and a Saturday group.

The period for objections has been extended and the closing date is Friday 12 October.

Residents of neighbouring properties are objecting to the application for a place of instruction, fearing that traffic in the quiet street will increase profoundly.

According to resident Michael van Niekerk, whose house is situated directly opposite the proposed school, he has worked out that a total of 160 cars per day will need to drop off and collect children each day.

“The morning session is for 32 learners. After 15:00 a further four sessions with 16, eight, eight and 16 learners are scheduled.

“These learners would be dropped off at 30-minute intervals, with the last pickup of 16 learners at 18:00. A total of 160 cars per day would need to drop off and collect these children – a total of 320 trips.

“If that were not enough, they plan to have classes on Saturdays for a further 90 children from 08:00 to 13:00,” he says.

Van Niekerk says he started a petition and that almost all the residents in the street signed it. “There are more people who will be affected by this, but did not receive the notice,” he says.

“To compound the problem, the road has a single entry point from Mendelsohn Avenue. Many of the affected properties would thus have 320 cars moving past their houses as parents need to drive in and out of the neighbourhood.

“Sonstraal Heights has had a special charm from inception. You would note the many open spaces and public parks. Children cycling or skateboarding in the streets are the norm and not the exception.

“I built my house 18 years ago and have cherished my neighbourhood and lifestyle every day. I would rather not even imagine the impact the school would have on our community,” he says.

The school is proposed on an erf next to the property where the owner of the school lives. The extent of the school will be 161.70m² according to the planning documents.

It will consist of five classrooms, an indoor playroom and a waiting room. The total indoor space to be provided will be 85.2m² and the outdoor space 146.80m². Six parking bays will be provided, as well as an additional two parking bays on-site as “stop and drop” parking.

According to the application document a single vehicular access is provided to cater for vehicular access on and off the property. Thus, vehicular circulation takes place on the property.

The application is also for the relaxing of the 5m building line to 4.2m on the western boundary. Once land use approval has been granted, the school will be registered with the Department of Education as a private school.

TygerBurger was unable to reach the applicant for comment.

What is your opinion on this article? Let us know at briewe@tygerburger.co.za.

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