Concerns over Ashfield Primary School fence

Mons Street side of Ashfield Primary School. Picture: Adam Collins.
Mons Street side of Ashfield Primary School. Picture: Adam Collins.

AN Ashfield resident wants the Department of Education to move a primary school fence.

The Department gave Ashfield Primary School $106,000 last year to build a 2.1m-high security fence around it.

In November, Community News spoke to a group of residents concerned over the need for the fence and how it would block access to playgrounds and open space outside school hours.

The school consulted residents from October to December and again in February before changing the plans to allow access.

However, Mons Street resident Adam Collins said he spoke with a Department representative about his concerns who decided to halt construction of the fence on the street.

“The approved but now halted fence on Mons Street will not only impact the streetscape but bring in a prison to our unique tree-lined street,” he said.

“This will impact the house values in the street.

“(I) prefer that the fence is moved back up towards the staff carpark and flow down towards the library, leaving the tree-lined streetscape alone.

“We all take ownership of the school and look after it in a ‘neighbourhood watch style’ after hours, weekends and school holidays. You don’t want to break that level of ownership between the neighbours and the school area.

“I personally understand the school needs a fence for safety but please work with our community and don’t kill our unique streetscapes and tree-lined streets.”

The fence being built around Ashfield Primary School. Picture: Adam Collins.

The Department confirmed the fence would be built along Mons Street and it was assessing whether changes could be made.

Department of Education infrastructure executive director John Fischer said the fencing was being installed to ensure the safety of children and staff at the school after some incidents of anti-social behaviour.

“When school security becomes an issue and a fence may be needed, a principal will consult with the community to get people’s views,” he said.

“In this case, a lot of people have had a say and the plans were modified to get the balance right between the security of our students, staff and buildings and giving people access to the school oval and playgrounds for recreation outside of school hours.”

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