Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak believes plans for a new public high school in Oran Park provide “completely inadequate” parking provisions.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has opened the public exhibition period on the school plans and is inviting members of the community to make a submission with their thoughts on the project before Friday, May 5.
The high school would accommodate up to 2000 students while the existing primary school – which shares a site with the proposed high school on the corner of South Circuit and Holden Drive – would grow to accommodate 1000 pupils.
Oran Park Town management expect the school, if approved after the public exhibition period, would be open for student enrolments by 2020.
However Cr Symkowiak has severe concerns about traffic congestion and the ability for staff and students to park on-site.
“There are only 10 on-site spaces in the plans,” she said.
“In my opinion there should be enough on-site parking for all 160 staff members. There is no provision for year 12 students that have their p-plates or parents visiting the school.”
The primary school will also see a further 40 staff members when expanded.
Cr Symkowiak said Camden Council would make a submission detailing the staff’s concerns over parking and traffic congestion to the minister’s office.
“As this is a state significant development, the planning minister, not the council or even the South West Planning Panel, is the consent authority,” she said.
“I would encourage all residents, especially those in Oran Park, to read the plans and make a submission, even if it’s just a paragraph.
“You need to make a submission now before it’s too late.”
Cr Symkowiak said despite the parking problems she was pleased to see that there was some movement in plans for the “much-need public high school”.
Camden MP Chris Patterson said he was also excited to see movement in the school plans.
“It is great for our area,” he said. “There’s a lot of growth here and we’re keeping up with that with our schools.
“I think we’ve had more new schools created and built in our region than anywhere else in the past six years.”
Mr Patterson said Oran Park Public School – which had less than 100 pupils on opening – would also see much growth.
“The primary school is going to expand and those pupils need somewhere to go to high school,” he said.
“The location is spot on and will welcome those primary school kids when they move on to high school.”
Mr Patterson said there was a deliberate effort to make the designs of the high school building fit the surrounding aesthetics in Oran Park.
He said the high school’s plans were cleverly designed to optimise sunlight and air flows and be as friendly as possible to the environment.
Oran Park’s Greenfields Development general manager Mick Owens said he was pleased with the school’s close proximity to the town centre and its services, including the under-construction library. He also encouraged residents to make a submission at the Department of Planning and Environment’s website.