After the Central & South planning meeting on 5th March 2013 no one should be in any doubt that the Labour Group in Hillingdon believe that every child in Hillingdon deserves a decent school place and that where we differ from the Conservative administration is that we consider our parks, open spaces and common land to be priceless, whereas they consider them to be worthless.
Petitioners, ward councillors and John McDonnell MP highlighted different aspects of why the green belt site of Lake Farm Country Park & Botwell Common should be protected from development. There were strong arguments put forward that demonstrated that the additional school places required could be provided without the need to build a new school on this site, if the political will was there to do so.
Objectors mentioned the proposals for a new 4 form of entry primary school at the nearby Guru Nanak Academy and a proposed new 2 form of entry primary school at Hewens College, but the committee did not take these into consideration.
Other suggestions that were offered up for consideration, and also turned down, were to allow Rosedale Primary school to expand and also to make use of the old Hayes swimming pool site that the council is selling off to a property developer.
So the decision to plough ahead with proposals to build on this piece of common land in the green belt comes down to a political decision made by the administration, based on the fact that they own the site, so the land will cost them nothing
After the meeting Cllr Peter Curling, Leader of the Labour Group, said
“As the meeting went on it became very clear that the additional primary school places equating to 3 forms of entry could be accommodated without the need to pour concrete over Lake Farm Country Park.
We, in the Labour Group, fully sign up to ensuring that every child has a decent school place and tonight it was demonstrated that this could be achieved without the need to destroy Lake Farm, so the proposal to build a school there is clearly driven by a political decision, rather than educational need.
What we are seeing is a Tory administration cashing in on the sale of brown field sites and then building on greenbelt land within their ownership. This is more to do with money than children’s education, and it shows that the Tories consider open green belt land to be worthless whereas we consider it to be priceless.”