Recluse Place residents oppose plans for Alesco Senior College in their street

Neil and Narelle McGinty, Matthew Clarke and Dan Perrin have major concerns about Alesco planting a school in their midst.

“TO be clear, I have no problems with Alesco’s mission,” said Matthew Clarke, a retired RAAF veteran who has lived on Recluse Place, Salt Ash for several years.

“It’s great that they provide opportunities for kids who need help, but there are just too many problems trying to plant a program like that here.”

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Mr Clarke is at the forefront of his community’s response to the news that Alesco Senior College, having purchased the vacant property in their street, intends to establish a school on the site.

Mr Clarke compiled and submitted a fourteen page document detailing the concerns shared by him and his neighbours.

Dan Perrin, a long-time resident of the street said, “It makes no sense to try and put a school in a place like this.
“It’s completely unsuitable for what they would need.”

Mr Clarke and Mr Perrin explain that the entire estate, of which Recluse Place is a part, is designated as wetlands, and comes with a large number of restrictions when considering development and building.

One of the main concerns is the effect on drainage if the property is resurfaced for the new demountable buildings.

“Every one of us in the street are on septic systems,” says Mr Perrin, “and we don’t have stormwater drainage that’s managed by the Council.”

The concern is that by raising the level of sand and soil, any redevelopment will cause a significant increase in water running into and flooding the neighbouring properties.

“That’s aside from the loss of habitat for local birds and wildlife,” said Mr Clarke.

Of deepest concern, however, is that if allowed to proceed with their plans, the restrictions on development would reduce dramatically once the site was redesignated for education purposes.

“This has always been a fairly peaceful street,” said Arthur Tupman, another resident who has written letters to his community to keep them aware of the situation.

“We don’t want our residential area to be encroached upon by commercial or even community-based entities.

“Where will it end?”

By Lindsay HALL

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