Saturday, February 2, 2013
Children who practise ballet and singing at a theatre school in Primrose Hill have incited the wrath of neighbours who are unhappy about the noise.
Stagecoach Primrose Hill holds classes at Primrose Hill Primary School, in Princess Road, on Friday afternoons and Sunday mornings.
The performing arts school, which uses one room in a primary school, holds drama, dance and singing classes for four to 18-year-olds, with many going on to be signed by agents and some appearing in the West End.
But following a petition from 24 residents about parking in the road and one complaint about noise to Primrose Hill Primary, the school has given Stagecoach four weeks to deal with the problem.
At the end of that time the school will organise a meeting to assess Stagecoach’s future at the site.
Claire Nightingale, 46, an orthodontist from Baptist Gardens, whose three children attend the school, said: “I find it very worrying that so many children could be denied a life-enhancing experience because of somebody being intolerant. It’s an educational activity. There is a wide mixture of children who go and it generates a sense of community.
“One resident complaining about children singing on Sunday is absolutely incredible. The neighbour is miserable.
“I understand the issues of noise and children singing and traffic, but most of the children live locally and walk. Drop-off and pick-up times are very distinct and are finished by lunch.”
Alun Rhydderch, former governor of Primrose Hill Primary School, whose children also attended the theatre school, said: “The school is amazing for building self-confidence.
“Children get a lot of enjoyment from it and it’s a great social opportunity. Some people think it’s just well-off kids who go there, but actually they have a number of schemes which means some of the children are sponsored or have bursaries.”
Primrose Hill councillor, Lazarro Pietrognoli, met Primrose Hill Primary School headteacher, Paul Campbell, and residents last week to discuss possible solutions. These included finding alternative parking with London Zoo.
Cllr Pietrognoli said: “We have decided to monitor the situation and the headteacher is going to talk to Stagecoach. We are going to implement the solutions and we are going to see what happens. I am very confident that at the end we are going to find a solution which is satisfactory to everyone.”
But one parent of a Stagecoach student, Larissa Vicas, who lives in Belsize Avenue, said parking at London Zoo for the few parents who drive and drop off was “ludicrous”.
“You can’t expect a four-year-old to walk that distance,” she said. “If they allow this to happen, it will set a precedent for anyone who lives near a school in Camden to complain.”