NSW government backs down on plan to make way for apartments on Cairnsfoot School site

Good outcome: Shadow education minister Jihad Dib and Rockdale MP Steve Kamper with parents of Arncliffe West Infants School, are pleased the government changed its plan to re-zone the old Cairnsfoot site into a residential development.

Good outcome: Shadow education minister Jihad Dib and Rockdale MP Steve Kamper with parents of Arncliffe West Infants School, are pleased the government changed its plan to re-zone the old Cairnsfoot site into a residential development.

Parents have welcome the scrapping of a plan to build apartments on a former school site at Turella.

The NSW government backed down on its proposal to re-zone the old Cairnsfoot School after the community fought to stop the idea from going ahead.

Turella residents were angry that the government wanted to sell the site to make way for a high rise unit blocks.

Cairnsfoot, a special needs school, moved to a new facility at Brighton-Le-Sands in 2017.

When Rockdale MP Steve Kamper found out the Department of Education lodged a planning proposal, he contacted the minister.

Mr Kamper said the site could lend itself to other educational uses such as expanding the already packed Arncliffe West Infants School across the road to a Kindergarten to year 6 school, or moving the local education directors office to the site.

Following lobbying by the community, the government announced this week it would not sell the site.

“I was absolutely appalled when I saw the government's initial response to my request to see the old Cairnsfoot site at Turrella maintained as a school,” Mr Kamper said.

“I'm glad to see that after a bit of community pressure, common sense has prevailed.

“This was a sensible backflip from the government, but they could have saved my community a lot of pain and suffering by doing the right thing in the first place.

“There was no need to drag this out and create such anxiety within the community.”

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