Dundonald Rec Re-Think Rejected By Councillors

Council asked to scrap school expansion plans

A motion calling on Merton Council to reconsider their controversial plans to expand Dundonald Primary School in Wimbledon was rejected by councillors at a recent meeting.

The motion, proposed by Dundonald Conservative Councillor David Dean and seconded by Lib Dem Iain Dysart, pointed out there was less green space in Dundonald ward than anywhere else in Merton.

It called on the council to reconsider its plans to expand the primary school into Dundonald Rec.

The council plans to increase the size of the school from a one-form entry to a two-form entry school, by replacing Dundonald Recreation Ground's pavilion with a two-storey building. The plans had been put forward as part of a series of measures to find primary school places as the borough's birth rate has increased by 39% since 2002.

But the motion asking the Council to think again about its plans was voted down at the full council meeting on November 20.

Councillor Dysart said afterwards: "We share the serious concerns expressed by local people at the loss of open space and amenities - not to mention the time and effort spent by the Council on trying to remove the historic legal protection against building on the Rec, at the expense of considering other options. Eroding one community asset to provide another is such a negative spiral - once it's gone, we'll struggle to get it back.

"Regrettably, this motion was voted down by Labour and Merton Park Residents' Association councillors, but we will continue to push the administration to focus on other alternatives rather than wasting more time and money fighting residents."

A spokesman for the Protect Dundonald Rec campaign group added: "PDR believe that the removal of land from public use will cause long term irrevocable damage to the local area. This is an act of environmental vandalism."

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November 29, 2013