Legal Action Against Dundonald School Plans

Campaigners say school cannot legally expand

Campaigners fighting against plans to expand a primary school into a popular Wimbledon recreation ground are taking legal action against Merton council.

Plans to increase the size of Dundonald Primary from a one-form entry to a two-form entry school, by replacing Dundonald Recreation Ground's pavilion with a two-storey building are being opposed by the Protect Dundonald Rec (PDR) campaign.

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.

Merton council's Cabinet approved the plans in September, with a commitment that the development does not set a precedent for future building in the park.

And earlier this month, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he was happy not to interfere in the process and would let Merton council determine the plans.

But PDR says the school cannot legally expanded because of a restricted covenant on the Rec (pictured left).

Now it says it has put the matter in the hands of solicitors and will be making a legal challenge to the decision.

Lorraine Maries, chairman of PDR, said: "We are disappointed that the Mayor of London has said he does not want to intervene. He has been misled by the council regarding this application. This exposes the council to legal challenges.

"This matter is now in the hands of our solicitors, Richard Buxton, so we cannot comment further, but we can assure local people and Rec users that is is highly unlikely this building will go ahead."

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March 22, 2013