The public outcry over the lack of parking proposed for the forthcoming Oran Park High School has been recognised by the Department of Education.
Plans for the school – and an extension to the existing Oran Park Public School at the same site – went on public exhibition with the Department of Planning and Environment earlier this year.
The proposal listed just 10 on-site parking spaces for the high school, which was expected to cater for 2000 students and 160 staff.
Since the public voiced its displeasure the department has made some changes
The new proposal would see an additional 70 spaces create on-site – bringing the high school total to 70 spaces.
The number of full-time staff has also been adjusted to 158, while the anticipated rise in primary school staff (which was originally 40) has dropped to 19.
The department’s responses to submissions also revealed a potential partnership with Camden Council to utilise the public parking at the nearby Jack Brabham Reserve during school times.
“Camden Council has indicated a willingness to allow the School access to a portion of the council’s existing 113 parking spaces at Jack Brabham Reserve (adjacent to the north of the School) at times when other members of the community don’t require it,” the response read.
“Approximately 65 parking spaces would satisfy the anticipated demand for senior student parking, with safe pedestrian access to and from the school provided via the pathway proposed from Jack Brabham Reserve, under Dick Johnson Drive and south along Julia Creek.
“It is proposed that the management of this be via an appropriate permit system to be established in consultation with Camden Council.
“The allocation of these permits is proposed to be managed by the school.”
Despite the response to submissions, publicly available at the planning department’s website, neither the Department of Education or Camden Council would confirm the agreement.
“Camden Council is currently preparing a formal response to the Department of Planning on the amended plans,” a council spokesman said.
“The council has not given its approval for the school to use Jack Brabham Reserve for car parking.”
The department was more optimistic about the relationship.
“The Department of Education is currently working closely with Camden Council regarding the provision of parking as part of the new Oran Park high school and upgrade to Oran Park Public School,” a spokesman said.
“No final decisions regarding on-site parking or the use of parking at Jack Brabham Reserve have been reached.”
The parking allocation for the primary school upgrade has also been increased to a proposed 69 spaces.
This would mean a grand total of 149 on-site car spaces for the two schools, catering to 223 staff and 3000 students (1000 primary and 2000 high).