PLANS to open a new 880-pupil secondary school in Marston have been slammed amid claims they would cause “absolute chaos.”

It is believed the Harlow Centre, which currently houses Meadowbrook College pupil referral centre, is now the most likely place for The Swan School to be located.

The free school would be run by The River Learning Trust – formerly The Cherwell School Academy Trust – and is due to open in September 2018.

But Marston city councillor Mary Clarkson said the Harlow Centre site was not appropriate.

She said: “It will cause absolute chaos.

“There is no room to accommodate any more cars.

“There is a desperate need for more school places in Oxford.

“My concern is that in the rush to have a school as soon as possible we are going to have something that is in the wrong place and causes all sorts of problems.”

It was reported in May that the Harlow Centre site was one of two options, with Osney Mead the other.

But Ms Clarkson said she believed Oxford University’s ongoing plans to redevelop Osney Mead meant there was too much uncertainty about opening the school there by September 2018.

It is understood the Education Funding Agency (EFA) – which will give the school approval to open when a suitable site is found – has dawn up detailed plans for the Harlow Centre.

The EFA has spoken to governors and staff at St Nicholas Primary School, which neighbours the site, about its plans.

Board of governors chairwoman Shilpa Bhatt said: “If this is the preferred site then the concerns we have are about such a big school next to an existing primary school.

“The access route would be a concern. It is right at the back door of a residential area.

“The traffic implications would be huge.

The Swan School was announced in September 2015 to help relieve the pressure on the city’s secondary schools.

It was due to open in September 2017 but the date was put back by a year because a suitable site could not be found.

In June, 200 parents signed a petition calling for the new school to be located in Osney Mead.

Old Marston Parish Council vice-chairman Duncan Hatfield said: “It would have a huge impact on the area in terms of traffic and congestion.

“We are very concerned about it. “There is a primary school next door and they could lose a lot of their land.

“It is the sort of thing people here are going to oppose, it is not really the right area.”