PRIMARY SCHOOL PLAN “ILL-CONSIDERED AND OPPORTUNISTIC” Some primary schools in area do not have playing fields or athletic tracks, say CSG (GLA sports centre plans slammed – part four)
PLANS TO INCLUDE a two-form primary school in the proposals are labelled “ill-considered and opportunistic” and fail to take into account the wider consequences for the park, say the CSG
“That it appears in all four proposals is a surprise and has resulted in diagrams appearing to show playing fields encroaching on park land outside the current NSC arena foot print, a further erosion of Metropolitan Open Lan.
“The CSG has considerable doubts as to whether the inclusion of any school, particularly a primary school, is appropriate in this park.
“A new school building, with vehicle access, parking, security fencing, and child safeguarding measures would run counter to the goal of aesthetic improvement, improved access, decluttering and the removal of obstacles to wider public use of the park.
“In addition, the disposal of MOL for a school is highly controversial and may not necessarily qualify as exceptional circumstances since it is only available for use by a limited subset of the population.
“If another academic establishment, in addition to Capel Manor, was to be considered for the NSC site it would have been fair and useful to solicit ideas from established schools and colleges in the area, none of whom were aware that this site was being considered for educational use.
“As an educational use has been considered for the site, we are surprised that the often discussed idea of a secondary school sports academy has not appeared in the proposals.
“This at least would have offered opportunities for the retention and possible development of existing sports facilities at the NSC as well as maintaining the historical sporting legacy of the site.”
Mr Tempia says a number of schools in the area have also expressed concern at the proposal in some of the project options to do away with the athletics track.
“Many schools in this part of south London do not have playing fields or athletics tracks and easy access to such facilities is often not readily available.
“Currently the track is accessible to any appropriate user. “By replacing this with a school, which must by definition exclude outside users, the land use is compromised.
“We are concerned that insufficient recognition has been given to the importance the NSC athletics track has for local schools.
“We recognise that the shortage of school places throughout London is a serious problem and are also aware of the Mayor’s commitment to release GLA land for the construction of new schools.
“But during the public consultation event GLA staff said this commitment has already been met by the release of other GLA land.”