Rallying call to challenge bid for new schools at Rokeby

Protesters gathered outside Rokeby School, in protest over the plans to build on the site and neighbouring fields. NNL-160803-221905009
Protesters gathered outside Rokeby School, in protest over the plans to build on the site and neighbouring fields. NNL-160803-221905009

A campaign group has been set up to fight plans which will transform the current Rokeby School site and build on neighbouring open land.

The dramatic proposal was unveiled last month and will see two new schools created and Rokeby Primary expanded as part of a drive to increase the number of school places.

But shocked parents and nearby residents say while there’s clearly a need for extra places, the new plans put the new schools – a free secondary and a free special school – in the wrong place.

They say secondary places are needed to the north of the town and they are also alarmed that Rokeby Primary will have to double in size but on a smaller site.

They have set up the group Protect Rokeby to get their message across.

A leaflet now being sent out around the area is urging people to turn out in force for the next meeting of the Rugby Town West Community Forum, which takes place at the school next Wednesday, March 16. The meeting starts with a police surgery from 6.30pm, then the main forum starts at 7pm, which will focus on the school proposals.

The leaflet sets out the campaign group’s position on the scheme: “This was done with no resident, school, or local council consultation. We are now campaigning to stop this building project, which is supposed to start immediately for 180 year seven (11 year olds) to start this September (six months time).

“Our first step is to make residents aware of what’s proposed, so that we can fight together to protect our estate.”

And in terms of the meeting, the leaflet encourages a big turnout to get their points across about the unsuitability of the site, including the inevitable impact on traffic: “This is a chance to pose questions to local council, planning officers, and future school staff.

“We are hoping to fill the hall with as many people as possible and flood the street with cars in order to demonstrate just how big a problem the development is going to cause. Please come prepared with questions and ready to make some noise!

“If you are unable to come, you can submit questions to the Protect Rokeby committee and we will make sure your voices are heard.”

Protect Rokeby has got a Facebook page and a petition at www.change.org/search, then type Rokeby.

See Your Views, page 25.