Call For More Work Into School Expansion Options

Expert advice to ensure all areas investigated

Planning experts have asked for more information on controversial council plans to expand Wimbledon's Dundonald School.

The Design Review Panel, an independent consultative panel of architects which offers advice to Merton Council on planning applications, has suggested more work needs to be done to ensure all the options for expanding the school have been fully explored.

Respondents to the council's consultation process on the plans to expand the school into Dundonald Recreation Ground have also said other avenues could be looked at.

The plans have been put forward by the council as part of a series of measures to find primary school places as the borough's birth rate has increased by 39% since 2002.

The council says it will now be undertaking the work proposed and will provide the necessary information before the planning application is heard, which is expected to be in November.

In addition, Sport England has asked for further information on the use of the multi-use games area. The council says it will respond to Sport England in advance of the planning application being heard.

Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Martin Whelton said: "We value all feedback on this important proposal and will look in detail at the suggestions from the panel and others, including residents, before we plan to submit the application to the planning committee in November. We are always keen to ensure we have looked at all options so that we get the right solution for Dundonald School and for the many families who hope to send their children to the school in the future."

Cabinet Member for Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, added: "The huge increase in our school age population means that we are looking at every option for the expansion of Dundonald. We want our young people to enjoy well designed classrooms and play areas whilst ensuring local people benefit from investment in improved park facilities for sport and leisure, in addition to improved landscaping."

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August 21, 2012