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College plans to cause chaos say residents

People living near The Sixth Form College, Farnborough, have reacted angrily to the prospect of further expansion and traffic congestion there

Farnborough Sixth Form, Prospect Avenue
Farnborough Sixth Form, Prospect Avenue

As reported in the News on Friday, approval has been given for a new teaching block and 80 extra parking spaces in the grounds of the Prospect Avenue campus.

Residents wrote to Rushmoor Council to complain about the plans. Concerns included increased traffic and overdevelopment of the site.

But at a recent meeting, most councillors welcomed the proposals, which also include a new refectory and an all-weather sports surface.

John Simmons, whose son attended the college, has lived on Prospect Avenue since 1972 and has seen the college grow.

He said: “You have to ask when all this development is going to stop.

“I went to the meeting and councillors said that the parking spaces were needed to stop students parking in the road.

“But if you didn’t have more classrooms, you would not need the parking spaces.

“It seems that because of its reputation, the college gets whatever it wants.”

Another Prospect Avenue resident, Bob Mogg, complained that councillors had not listened to local residents.

“We have lived here for many years and seen the college grow and grow. It is too big now and I do not want to see any more expansion.

“It is the bane of our lives. Dr Guy says that the students are ‘young adults’, but the amount of rubbish and noise they create is atrocious.”

Derek Burton, who lives on Sand Hill, opposite the student car park, described traffic congestion at certain times of the day as “a nightmare”.

“I wrote to the council to complain about these plans but the councillors seemed to have ignored our complaints.

“When students are leaving at the same time in the afternoon, buses and cars park outside you can’t get through.”

Mr Burton, who has lived on Sand Hill for ten years, said that the new bus lane on the A325 added to the congestion.

“People use Sand Hill as a rat-run to avoid the lights on Farnborough Road. Once the bus lanes are finished there will be less lanes for the cars and people will be even more tempted to use a short-cut.”

Another Sand Hill resident, Ann Larkin, said that the main problem was the lack of traffic control around the college.

“The traffic build-up can be awful, especially late in the day. We can have six double decker buses outside our house. If I want to get out of here at around 4.20pm, I can forget it.”

Grange ward councillor, Jon Weston, backed the complaints of residents, but said that government policy made it difficult for local councils to reject such applications.

“As long as the plans fit in with what the government policy lays out, the council is put in a difficult position if they dislike what they see.

“The applicant can always go to appeal and the government will have to grant it.

“The extra pupils will create extra traffic and the new bus lane will not help. I do feel sorry for local residents.”

College principal, Dr John Guy, said yesterday: “We have always been concerned to manage transport to and from the college.

“We have spent hundreds of thousands on car parking facilities to remove students’ cars from the roads. We’ve even led on sensible parking restrictions to minimise concerns to neighbours, but to maximise disruption to students who want to park on the roads.”

“We have had a survey undertaken and the consultants were surprised at how well the management system enables cars to get out of the college at the end of the day, with little disruption of traffic.

“I also wrote to each of the ward councillors in the area, explaining that we were submitting the proposal. I said if they had any concerns, I would be happy to discuss it. One wrote back in support of the scheme and no-one else did.”

He added: “I suggest residents cast their minds back to how it was when students parked all over the side roads. It is wholly different now.

“We are putting in an extra 80 spaces which is more than the council expected us to.”


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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