PROTESTERS are stepping up their campaign to save Rokeby Playing Fields.
A petition signed by 2,000 residents has been handed in to Rugby Borough Council in the face of proposals to build Rugby Free Secondary School (RFSS) and a new special needs school on the site.
Organised by SHARE: Sustainable Hillside & Rokeby Education, the petitioners are calling on council leader Mike Stokes to write and tell civil servants about the value the council places on Rokeby Playing Fields.
SHARE chair Sally Chant said: “Civil Servants are planning to take Rokeby Playing Fields and build two new schools on them.
“The civil servants have not consulted Rugby Borough Council about their plans and are refusing to come to Rugby and explain them.
“We are asking for a full debate in the council chamber and for the council to write to the civil servants to explain the value of these playing fields to the public.”
The petition was handed in on Monday.
Linda Hanson of Long Furlong said: “This proposal is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the whole community. “I would like to see the government’s traffic assessment before a brick is laid. Someone needs to take personal responsibility for the accidents that will inevitably result if this goes ahead.”
George Baines of Ecton Leys called it a “half-baked scheme.”
He added: “There has been far less consultation than we saw with the David Wilson Homes proposal for Ashlawn Fields. Cars will be coming right across Rugby and onto unsuitable narrow estate roads.”
And Sheila Cook of Long Furlong said it was “ridiculous” place to put new schools.
She added: “I just can’t see how it is going to be feasible to fit that amount of traffic into the space available. It will clog up the whole gyratory system morning and afternoon.”
Coun Stokes, who was not able to accept the petition in person owing to previous commitments and holidays, promised the petition would be dealt with accordingly.
The Knowledge Schools Trust will open RFSS at Rokeby Primary School’s old site in Anderson Avenue next month, with plans to move to the playing fields in 2018. The old Rokeby site will then be demolished to make way for the primary school’s new playing fields.
The special school is due to open in 2017.