Proposed Putney Primary School Application Declared Invalid

Council’s children’s services department to resubmit planning application

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Proposed primary school
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Planning Application

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On 18th May members on the forum questioned the validity of the planning application the as"the sale was not recorded at the HMLR (Land Registry), and why a Certificate B was not served on Wandsworth PCT". On 23rd May the council planning site shows the application to be invalid.

The council has confirmed to that the children’s services department is resubmitting its planning application for a new 420 pupil primary school and a 50 place nursery for children living in the west of the borough.

If the plans are approved, the original timetable for the opening of the school and nursery will not change and children would begin to be admitted in September 2015.

They assured that all those residents who have previously taken part in the consultation will have their comments carried forward so that they are fully considered in relation to the new application.

A council spokesman told“There were some technical issues with the application that needed to be rectified. This means there will be a new consultation period, allowing the public more time to register their views on the proposals.”

They continued: "Supporters of the new school point to the growing pressure on school places in this part of Putney with some parents already struggling to find state schools for their children. The birth rate across Wandsworth has increased significantly over the last few years so it is vital that the council plans ahead to meet the projected increase in demand for school places."

The number of children being born in the borough each year has now topped 5,200. In 2001 this figure stood at 4,000. This sharp increase is partly reflected by the rise in the number of children now being born in Putney.

Local resident John Cameron, who is against the development told PutneySW15:
"From the outset, the planning application was riddled with errors, some of which were fatal and made the entire application invalid, literally from the day is was submitted.  The errors were self evident, but denied by the planning officers, who as planning professionals have known the application was invalid from the outset.  The uncorrected, invalid application continued until WBC’s position as both planner and applicant, eventually became untenable."

"The planning managers are meant to be professional and unbiased, and in the case of the Putney Hospital application, they were neither.  Once the planning authority becomes aware that an application is invalid they cannot deal with the application any further, and this did not happen.  Statements have been made that also need investigating to establish whether they were false or misleading, and if so what impact this may have. The application was invalid, from the outset; clearly there will have to be a thorough and transparent investigation; until this is completed WBC cannot continue with it. "

Another local resident Nick Evans told "Of course it is not just the planning application problems that are causing local residents to criticise the scheme proposed by WBC, it is the inappropriate size of the school. The new building will exceed the footprint of the old hospital and is 10m longer. it therefore requires that the access road and coach turnaround has to be built on Lower Common - not even land owned by the Council. With 420 students and their parents and siblings arriving each morning and afternoon it will be 700+ accidents waiting to happen. The design is ugly, and the suggestion that a playground on the roof will not generate a great deal of noise is laughable. The impact on traffic and parking will be severe. A smaller school - 1FE - would be sufficient to cope with the increase in primary school students. In fact much of this growth is not in Thamesfield ward, but elsewhere in the Borough. Traffic would be less, a playground at ground level would be better for the children. The building would not occupy nearly all the land owned by the Council.

He continued: "Mr Govindia and his colleagues at the Council are trying to shoehorn this scheme into one of the most attractive parts of Putney. He claims that it has to be so big to support the Academy funding model. Perhaps he should ask his Director of Children's Services to do some homework. The ARK schools organisation runs a successful 1FE primary school in Hammersmith and Fulham. The average size of a primary school in England is around 240 pupils."

Putney resident Stephen Walker told
" I am in favour of a new non-denominational primary school being built on the site. Especially as the overwhelming majority of state primary schools in West Putney practice religious discrimination. The one local school (Hotham) that does not, is predicted to have a very tight geographic intake for those whose only language is English (one of the three classes is for bilingual children and has a wider catchment). So despite having 5 local primaries my son is only eligible for entry to two forms at Hotham which are already oversubscribed. I would rather there was no residential development to go with the school, but if needs must, I wouldn't object on that basis."

If the new school gets planning permission, the council intend that it will be run as an academy. The council believes that this would make it part of the state sector but give it greater freedoms to manage its own affairs and work in partnership with other schools, academies and education establishments.

Putney Hospital , which is situated on the eastern edge of Putney Common, closed services to patients in 1998 and has remained vacant ever since. The planning application will seek permission to demolish the existing hospital buildings and replace them with a new primary school and 24 homes.

A planning permission was previously granted for residential redevelopment at the rear of the site in what were once the nurse's living quarters. This permission was obtained by the site's former owners, the local primary care trust NHS Wandsworth, which had planned to build residential units on this part of the site and use the funds this generated to pay for a new medical centre, until that scheme was abandoned. 

Under the new proposals, the proceeds from the sale of these homes will help pay for the new school and nursery facilities.

We are waiting comment from Justine Greening MP.


May 28, 2012