School Expansion Plans Given Tribunal Green Light

Tribunal dismisses appeal made by local campaigners

Plans to expand Dundonald Junior School into the neighbouring recreation ground have moved a step closer after a Lands Tribunal decision.

The tribunal has dismissed the appeal by the Save Dundonald Rec group, and so a hearing planned for June 24 will no longer take place.

It is understood that the Save Dundonald Rec group withdrew their appeal.

The next stage is for the case to go to the Upper Tribunal. This could take place within a week.

Merton Council wants to increase the size of Dundonald Primary School by replacing Dundonald Recreation Ground's pavilion with a two-storey building.

It will have to make a formal court order to amend a legal covenant on the land. But it is now likely that this can take place without a hearing.

Councillor Peter Walker, Merton's former Cabinet member for Education, said: "Having initiated the plan to expand Dundonald Primary School when I was
Cabinet member for Education, I welcome the decision of the Lands Tribunal to reject the appeal by Save our Rec.

"It means that the Council can now make an application for a formal order to the court to amend the covenant on Dundonald Rec without a hearing. I expect this will happen in the next few days and Merton will be given the go ahead to expand the school.

"I am now optimistic this much needed expansion of Dundonald Primary School will get the final go ahead and building work will begin later this year. Most important of all it will benefit an extra 200 children in central Wimbledon who wish to attend this outstanding local school."

"I hope those who have campaigned against this much needed expansion will now recognise that the planned expansion will not result in any loss of open space and will benefit the whole community."

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June 21, 2013