Cranbrook School’s new sports facility sparks diplomatic row

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Masahiko also said that increased traffic would lead to increased noise pollution, which had not been properly addressed by the school.

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Another nearby resident also raised concerns about the use of the oval on Saturdays causing noise from traffic and spectators which would “significantly disrupt the quiet fun our client would otherwise enjoy with his family early on the morning and late afternoon on the Sabbath”.

By contrast, Woollahra City Council told the planning department that it had no objection to the proposed change in opening hours.

Sydney’s private school building frenzy, including Cranbrook, has drawn opposition from residents and local councils who say new facilities will wreck their neighborhoods with traffic jams, parking problems and oversized buildings.

Cranbrook was overfunded by $941,080 in 2021 by the NSW government, according to a report by education economist Adam Rorris, commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation – one of more than 200 private schools to have received additional funding of the state government.

Last month, Cranbrook proposed reducing the hours associated with sports competitions at the oval to Saturdays only. There have been no changes to the proposed hours of operation of the Aquatic Fitness Center and the Centenary Building.

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“The intent of the amendment is not to introduce the general public to the school, but to allow approved facilities to be used for extended hours by the Cranbrook school community,” the school said.

Cranbrook said the increased hours of sports competitions would have “negligible impacts” on the surrounding traffic network and parking demand. Any noticeable noise from sports games was likely to be masked by noise generated by traffic along New South Head Road.

The school said the extended hours of operation of the aquatic fitness center would likely reduce school traffic activity during peak hours.

“Increasing the stall from 6am to 5am will not have a significant impact on sleep at neighboring properties.”

A spokesperson for the Japanese Consulate General in Sydney said: “We are confident that Cranbrook School and the New South Wales Government will properly consider our comments and make fair decisions on this matter.”

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A Cranbrook spokesperson did not respond to questions, but said in a statement, “The school continues to work constructively with its neighbors and the local community on this construction project.”

A significant development for the state, Cranbrook’s request to change opening hours will be decided by Planning Minister Anthony Roberts or delegated to senior officials in his department.

The department is undertaking a “rigorous evaluation” of Cranbrook’s proposal, a spokesperson said. “Any issues raised during submissions will be considered as part of this evaluation.”

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