Elliott School proposals gain 5 per cent support among residents
1:33pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in Wandsworth
The council has reduced the amount of land it is proposing to sell off at a Putney school after just 5 per cent of respondents to a public consultation supported its proposals.
Wandsworth Council has proposed converting Elliott School into a multi-million pound ARK Academy but to fund this it wants to sell off some of the school's land, including playing fields, for residential development.
Residents were given 83 days until May 25 to provide the council with their thoughts on the proposals.
In total 213 people submitted written responses but just nine of them supported the plans.
Last week the council released an official summary of the consultation results on their website and stated: "In the light of the consultation responses the council has reduced the area for disposal from 19,432m2 to 16,666m2.
"This is a reduction of 14 per cent."
Welcoming the decision to save the amphitheatre, a spokesman for the Save Elliott School campaign said: "This area has been a fundamental part of Elliott School in the past and this is demonstrated in the incredible alumni to have come out of the school such as the XX, Hot Chip and The Maccabees."
The main points raised during the consultation say the proposals take too much land, there were concerns about the impact on children’s well-being from a reduced open space and suggestions that the council should use its reserves or raise council tax instead.
Some also suggested ARK should put more money into the scheme, others that the council should dispose of the Putney Hospital site for residential use and locate a primary school on the Elliott site.
However, a parents’ consultation meeting on May 16, attended by 40 parents, unanimously backed the council's proposals.
The Save Elliott School campaign also set up an e-petition opposing the proposed disposal of the school's land which has attracted 530 signatures plus another 100 signatures in a written petition.
Playing fields are protected under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, but in order to build on them or sell them a Section 77 application must be made to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State, who has the final say.
It emerged that the council was poised to make the application last week but needed the support of the Labour side to push ahead. The Labour Group have shown reservations against the proposals and only agreed to allow the Section 77 application to press ahead if the council decreased the amount of land it planned to sell, which it did.
Visit saveelliottschool.tumblr.com to read more.