RESIDENTS have launched a campaign against a York school's plans which they claim will turn their 'narrow residential cul-de-sac' into a busy access road into improved school sports facilities.

St Peter's School has submitted a planning application for new all-weather sports facilities and improved parking arrangements, accessed via Westminster Road and catering for coaches and 67 cars. It claims the proposals would help ease current traffic issues in streets around the site.

But a community campaign group, involving residents of surrounding streets including Westminster Road, Greencliffe Drive, The Avenue and Water End, claims the plans will increase traffic flow up to 15 hours per day, seven days per week.

It says St Peter’s also wants to remove grass verges and trees in front of nearby houses so it can squeeze in a single track road access over the roots of a protected ancient horse chestnut tree. 

"Other trees have already been removed in anticipation of the plans being approved," they claimed.

"Neighbours are genuinely concerned about the influx of traffic in this small backwater and some are already considering moving. The proposed car park’s narrow access point with its pedestrian crossing will inevitably become a bottleneck with tailbacks in both directions."

One resident, Ryan, said he bought his home at the end of a cul-de-sac next to fields to keep his disabled son safe. "He’s a flight risk; increased traffic and no grass verge will put him in danger," he said.

The group also claimed that at a time when most were trying to be more environmentally conscious, the plans meant that St Peter’s were encouraging more vehicle usage, not less.

Resident Andy Dickinson said he was very aware that Press readers liked to dismiss neighbours' concerns as ‘nimbyism’ but he felt that when a school proposed the removal of grass verges from a residential street, every resident should respond. 

"Once permission is granted here, no grass verge in the city will be safe," he claimed.

"This leafy tranquil road, with its tall, tree lined vista with its pockets of green grass verges, has stood in York for nearly 100 years.

"It offers its residents a peaceful and calm suburban existence away from the traffic of the city. Away from the queues and pollution of the metropolitan city. Its merging beauty with home and nature provide a quintessential garden city."

A school spokesperson said the plans included dedicated coach parking, visitor parking and parent drop-off areas, which would help ease current traffic issues in streets around the site - an issue raised by local residents over time.  

"The plans will also reduce the number of bus trips required through the improved facilities,"they said.  

"Additionally, a new pedestrian crossing will be provided at the site entrance at the end of Westminster Road, allowing users of existing public rights of way to continue to use these routes safely.

"A new dedicated layby and student drop-off/pick-up point is also proposed to address current capacity issues."