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SALFORD COUNCIL SCHOOLS CHOKER
 

Star Date: 2nd September 2009

WALKDEN SCHOOL'S SEALED WITH A HISS...

Today Salford Council's Planning Panel is set to pass plans for a new `state of the art' replacement for Walkden High, as part of its Building Schools For The Future programme. But the `state of the art' school will be right next to the East Lancs, the most polluted road in Salford.

Which isn't very clever as the city has high levels of childhood asthma and bronchitis, and a Lancet report states that children between the ages of 9 and 18 are most susceptible to lung damage from traffic fumes than at any other time of their lives.

The Council even "acknowledges the impact of poor air quality resulting from the proximity of the site to the A580" and the "noise pollution". The `state of the art' solution?

DON'T OPEN THE WINDOWS!!!

Read the full story…


Way back in Issue 8 of Salford Star, we reported that, despite opposition from local residents, the Council was determined to site the new Walkden High School on a quiet estate, right next to a huge mobile phone mast and the busy A580.

Outline Planning Permission papers from last year stated that "The assessment found that the southern area of the Playing Fields Site adjacent to the busy A580 East Lancs Road is within a designated Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for Nitrogen Oxide and given the existing high levels of traffic…the need for adequate ventilation is stressed to adequately mitigate the impact of air pollution on end users."

It also stated that there should be "measures needed to bring noise levels down to an acceptable level, including the provision of acoustic barriers along site boundaries and around play areas".

Over a year later and the final planning permission papers for the school submitted today contain all the Council's answers…

When the school windows facing the East Lancs are shut the noise level is acceptable, however "when open the internal noise levels would exceed the standard set out in Building Bulletin 93". In other words, `Shut the windows!'

The same with that pesky Nitrogen Oxide and the shocking air quality…The Planning Papers state… "The A580 East Lancashire Road is a clear source of both noise and air pollution, therefore the building has been designed to include a fully sealed faēade to reduce the impact…" You what?  A `faēade'?  It appears to be a poncy word for `façade' but it's not in any dictionary that we know, so we'll take it as being that the `state of the art' school will be sealed up to prevent any noise or air pollution? 

Parents shouldn't worry, though, because "the internal ventilation system would allow for classrooms to be cooled and ventilated without the need to open windows".

Brilliant!!! These planners have got it all sussed!!! Er, what happens at playtime? Are kids going to be sealed up and not allowed to play out? The Planning Papers don't mention anything about this…

M.E. wrote
at 17:22:30 on 02 September 2009
Walkden High would benefit from the installation of Acoustiblok sound abatement material - check out their website www.acoustiblok.com There's a press release there about this material going in quickly and easily at the Pinellas County Florida jail, and it eliminated the noise problems they had been living with. It's indestrctable, lasts a lifetime. Cool stuff. Check it out.
 
Big Al wrote
at 14:22:19 on 02 September 2009
At least they have a school not like St George's kids around the corner in Walkden! There is yet another consultation with famlies and friends of St George's on September 10th at 6pm and then 8pm at the school. The Schools Adjudicator will then decided to keep the school open or let the Salford planners close a popular successful school.
 
Bob Jeffery wrote
at 14:21:41 on 02 September 2009
Surely given the already disgraceful levels of transport emissions in a built-up area, the last thing the council should be doing is adding more traffic? To say that 'shutting the windows' is the solution is ludicrous, what happens in summer (apparently this season does occur in Salford - on occasion). This story also highlights a wider debate, when is Salford council going to get serious about the enormous damage done by transportation in the city to the quality of the built environment, and perhaps more importantly to the health of its citizens. I represent a group called the Campaign for Free Public Transport, which, while not to everyone’s liking, does at least propose some kind of workable alternative to excessive car use. Whatever you think about that campaign, surely everyone must agree that the dubious reliability of First buses is not helping to get cars off the road in Salford.
 
Steven North wrote
at 14:21:34 on 02 September 2009
I went to this school. It's a shame the next lot will have to wear gas masks for PE!
 
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