Saint John Bosco School relocation and homes plan angers Southfields residents
The local authority’s planning committee last week granted plans for Catholic school Saint John Bosco to move to a new larger site in Battersea, the former Salesian College.
It also gave the green light for a large residential development, including three, four and seven- storey buildings, on the land currently occupied by Saint John Bosco, in Princes Way, Southfields.
The land is owned by the Catholic Church and the application was submitted by property developer Lend Lease.
Neighbours directly affected by the development attacked the planning process over a lack of affordable housing included in the move, allegations of double standards over planning policy for the area and the loss of the school in Southfields.
Princes Way resident Thomas Hull was blocked, by the council, from using an extension on his house as a roof terrace in 2013 because it would overlook neighbouring properties yet claimed the new high rises will have a direct line of sight into his bedroom.
Mr Hull, 49, said: “The double standards displayed by the planning department are astounding.
“This is not a new school, it is a replacement school.
“The lack of affordable housing is a scandal.”
Wandsworth Council has placed conditions on the plans that require developers Land Lease to install obscured glass to prevent overlooking while roof terraces and balconies must be screened to protect the privacy of neighbours.
A spokesman for the council defended the lack of affordable housing attached to the application stating the community benefit is the £20m new school.
Planning chairman Councillor Nick Cuff said: “The new Saint John Bosco will offer a cutting-edge learning environment for generations to come and give local parents another first-rate secondary school to choose from here in Wandsworth.
“This completed scheme will be a real step forward for the borough’s school provision and will help to boost local housing supply.”
Tara Singh, 63, Princes Way, questioned developers Lend Lease.
He said: “In their letter to Justine Greening they made a statement that ‘We will continue to consult with local residents to understand and respond to their concerns’.
“Apart from the presentation there has been no attempt by Lend Lease to consult with the residents.
“Furthermore in the same letter Lend Lease make it quite clear that ‘To allow delivery of the school in time for the opening in September 2015, it is important that the planning programme is maintained and the applications are heard by the planning committee on September 10’.
“This clearly illustrates Lend Lease have held a gun to Wandsworth Council's head to approve without delay the planning application.”
Richard Cook, Lend Lease’s head of residential, said: “Public consultations were held with residents before the submission, and after it to provide a further opportunity for feedback.
“The plans were also made public for residents to view as is the process for Wandsworth Council. Lend Lease followed the full process as outlined by Wandsworth Council and were in consultation with them throughout.”
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