Residents are up in arms over a draft masterplan from Ballarat Clarendon College to expand the school.
An outline of the proposed changes was sent in a letter to neighbours and made available at an information session last week.
It included the development of a new multi-purpose sports playing field, demolition of at least four houses, the closures of Ajax Street and Murray Street, and removal of pedestrian access to improve school security.
Resident Peter Moon said many of the neighbours at the information session held similar concerns.
“(The school) tried to make the play they were there to help Ballarat grow,” he said. “They’re not trying to grow the community – they’re trying to grow their school and it is at the expense of the local residents in that area.”
He said residents believed school security could be addressed by building a fence or moving the girls’ boarding house elsewhere, rather than closing off Murray Street and breaking an agreement made between Ballarat City Council and residents in 1989.
Mr Moon said there were also concerns about traffic congestion and parking.
“If they’re going to grow the school, they need to have thought about onsite parking and increased traffic management in their plan,” Mr Moon said.
“They seem to be more worried about how the school looks and is perceived rather than not impacting on the residents.
“If their school is going to grow, let it grow somewhere else because they don’t have the land to do it here."
Principal David Shepherd said the school held the information session to ensure transparency and receive input from residents before putting together a formal proposal.
He believed the school and residents would move forward to a good outcome together.
“I thought it was a very productive meeting,” he said.
“The residents raised some important issues that we’ve taken on board and that will be fed back into the process as we move the draft to being the plan we actually hand to council.”
The proposal will go before council early next year.
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