Sir – We are concerned at the further delay in deciding the planning application for a replacement railway bridge at Aristotle Lane and the much-needed enlargement of the play space for children at SS Philip and James’ Primary School.

Phil and Jim has had inadequate play space ever since built, with a land swap being agreed years ago to provide additional space.

This land swap has been held up by Network Rail developments. Aristotle Bridge has to be raised for electrification and Network Rail have requested closure of the level crossing because of increased safety concerns. Network Rail has recently had a poor press but we can vouch for their helpfulness at many meetings with the school, city and county council officers, allotment holders and local councillors. They have provided twelve parking spaces for allotment holders and are working with Plater Drive residents to ensure that their boundary wall, one side of the eastern ramp to the bridge, is high enough and strong enough to meet security concerns.

The application was approved by the planning committee on March 10, but councillor Bob Price instigated a call-in to the planning review committee for reconsideration. This has further delayed an already overdue decision and delayed Phil and Jim’s school having access to the extra land. Other matters, including the design of the bridge side panels and the wall behind Plater Drive, have all been discussed extensively at two previous meetings. Councillor Price should not be insisting on going over it all again. Children are losing out.

Liz Wade
Lib Dem city councillor for St Margaret’s Ward
John Howson
Lib Dem county councillor for St Margaret’s Ward