Residents feel "views being ignored" as school homes get approval
The decision has sparked anger in the Putney community, who feel their views are not being listened to by the local authority.
Pupils at Ark Academy are currently being taught in Porta Cabins awaiting the construction of a raft of new facilities next year, to be funded by the sale of 155 luxury flats and houses.
Sir Terence Clark, chairman of the 25-39 Westleigh Avenue residents’ committee, believes the development will deprive children of open-air recreational space, bring severe stress on neighbours and children through the construction period, disfigure green space, bring congestion to the area and cause wildlife to lose its natural habitat.
In an official objection to the plans on the council’s website, Sir Terence said: “Hundreds of objections have been raised by local residents and some national organisations with only the council and the developers in favour of it.
"The absence of essential information for the public has been a primary feature of the council’s handling of this proposal.
“It has only been through persistent questioning of assumptions and research into the background of the site by local residents that the key facts, which should have been made public at the outset, emerged.
“The best solution is to look elsewhere for funding and to leave this recreational amenity to the school as it is.
“If there is no alternative to some such development, then at least it can be scaled down to something more in keeping with the surrounding environment.”
The new properties will be built on the land to the rear of Ark Academy, at Pullman Gardens and 45-47 Westleigh Avenue.
In order to build the flats, a former caretaker’s building, a care home and a number of existing structures will have to be demolished.
The plan was approved at a meeting last week.
A spokesman for Wandsworth Council said: “Millions of pounds are being invested in the school for the benefit of local children.
“With this investment the academy will be able to deliver a vastly improved standard of education to its pupils.”