Public meetings to discuss council's plans
A series of public meetings are being held for views to be aired on Merton council's plans to expand five Wimbledon primary schools.
The announcement comes as campaigners fighting controversial plans to expand Dundonald school get set to mount a legal challenge to the council's scheme.
In the latest phase of its school expansion programme, the council is proposing to extend Gorringe Park Primary School, Liberty Primary School, All Saints, Singlegate and Wimbledon Park.
Public consultation meetings will take place at the respective schools as follows:
Permanent expansion would mean that each school could accommodate an additional 30 pupils per year.
The consultation about All Saints Primary School will include the use of the South Wimbledon Youth Centre and Community Centre main building as part of the school expansion, as well as how the council proposes to provide accommodation for community groups which currently use the centres.
The consultation for Singlegate and Wimbledon Park primary schools will highlight proposed improvements to neighbouring recreation grounds which would provide additional play facilities.
The period of consultation gives residents and parents the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about the proposals. The council is also inviting residents and parents to take a look at the consultation papers and planning applications for the proposed additional buildings at www.merton.gov.uk/schoolsconsultations.
In September, the council agreed to press ahead with controversial plans to increase the size of Dundonald School by expanding it into the neighbouring recreation ground, although it is covered by a restricted covenant.
Campaigners fighting against the plans are anticipating the council will make an application to the Upper Tribunal (Lands) sometime this month to enable the covenant to be modified. The Protect Dundonald Rec group is soon to launch a fund-raising campaign towards its anticipated court fees to fight the case.
Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Peter Walker said: "The latest school expansion proposals are part of our overall vision to offer quality local education to all our young people. Education changes lives and we want to give children in Merton the best possible start in life.
"The 39% increase in birth rate we have seen over the past six years is leading to unprecedented demand for school places in Merton. This is a great opportunity for parents and residents to let us know their views and concerns about the proposed expansions."
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November 18, 2011