Dundonald Rec Plans To be Probed By Eric Pickles

Campaigners meet him in Parliament

The controversial go-ahead for plans to expand Dundonald Rec Primary School is be to investigated by Secretary of State Eric Pickles.

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 have been opposed by the Protect Dundonald Rec (PDR) campaign.

After a series of legal challenges to the scheme, the expansion seemed set to go after the final legal case was dismissed in September.

But a number of representatives of groups opposed to the plans met Mr Pickles in the House of Commons on Monday (October 27). See picture on the right.

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond arranged the meeting and was joined by representatives from the Friends of Dundonald Park, the Protect Dundonald Rec Campaign Group, the Dundonald Rec Tennis and Dundonald Rec Sports Committee.

Lorraine Maries, chairman of Protect Dundonald Rec said: "Eric Pickles has promised to consider this matter in great detail. We have provided the Minister with evidence proving that the application was based on misrepresentation and false information."

John Lavery from the Open Spaces Society, who also attended the meeting, said: "It is essential that local authorities carry out their duties with transparency, especially when they grant planning permission to themselves. Allowing the approval of the Dundonald development, based on false premises, undermines the entire system that protects public open spaces."

But Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "We are confident we have followed all the correct procedures and our decision has been judically reviewed. It will create much-needed school places as well as improved sports facilities."

He said work had already started on the site, and the sports facilities would be re-opened in the Spring.

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October 28, 2014

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Final legal challenge to plans is dismissed