A new school at Roundswell could see a ‘crisis descend into chaos’ with the influx of extra traffic into the area.
The roads are already groaning with traffic at peak times and residents fear the proposed 420-place school earmarked for a site at Tews Lane could tip it over the brink.
Roundswell Residents Association wants to know why the school could not go on Devon County Council land near Sainsbury’s that was identified for that purpose several years ago.
They say the Old Bideford Road and the roads up to the Cedars and out to the Link Road are already jammed solid at peak times and people living in the area are deeply fearful that a school at Tews Lane would have a huge impact on their quality of life.
Association chairman Graham Turner said: “We are not against a school, we want one for our residents but it’s already a nightmare now to try and do anything between 8-9am, just to get off the estate.”
Mr Turner said the area had already seen more than 1,000 new homes built, with more scheduled to follow.
He added: “They say they are going to do a robust traffic assessment and travel plan – the residents should be informed of the outcome of that before the school gets to the planning stage.
“And if it’s a load of baloney, we will fill the planning committee chamber with protesters.”
Resident Ian Capon added: “The school is a catalyst for our anger. Not only do we have the new houses, there’s a new school with no provision for parking or picking up.
“All the sweeteners promised by developers do not happen and we are left to pick up the pieces.”
North Devon Council’s Bickington and Roundswell ward member Rodney Cann said he was deeply concerned by the situation. He said: “I think we have a crisis that’s going to turn into chaos – people are already using the area as rat runs and the worst is yet to come.
“I think we have to make it clear to the county council this is the wrong site. I think it’s a cynical exercise by the council, they are taking advantage to build the school at Tews Lane, which is inappropriate.
“As a highway authority they have been endorsing all the recent applications, which has undermined our ability to refuse them.”
Fremington county councillor Frank Biederman said parking around any school was a concern, but added: “I will be working hard with the school and residents to make sure that a travel plan is in place.
“But ultimately I see this as very good news for the Roundswell area - they were promised a school 20-plus years ago when the village was built and it never came.
“This is fantastic news that finally the children of Roundswell will be educated in the community they live, which overall will reduce the need for car journeys to schools further out and hopefully relieve some of the congestion.”