Angry campaigners call on Boris Johnson to save school playing fields
Angry campaigners are now calling for the Mayor of London to build on the Olympic legacy to save school playing fields.
Councillors have rubber-stamped plans to sell off Elliott School playing fields, in Pullman Gardens, Putney, despite 57,000 people signing a petition against the decision.
Plans were waived through to allow the sale to fund a £30m revamp, with the money being raised through the sale of the fields.
The 15,071 sq m site includes a car park, unused buildings, two tarmac-covered ball games court and a grassed area.
Wandsworth Council has said the school urgently needed refurbishing and currently relies on scaffolding to keep the building in place.
Before the finance and corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee meeting at the town hall on Tuesday hundreds of campaigners staged a demonstration against the proposals.
The Save Elliott School Campaigners have expressed their disappointment with the decision, claiming the council could look for other ways to generate funding, of which only £5m was available.
But councillor Kathy Tracey said: "The school desperately needs a multi-million pound investment to provide the kind of teaching facilities that will allow its pupils to thrive.
"The Elliott site is quite large and there is surplus land there that can be used to raise these desperately needed funds. Much of this land has been concreted over and none of it is used as playing fields.
"Unfortunately in these very difficult economic times, there is no other way of raising enough money to transform Elliott into the high quality school that young people in the area deserve."
Former pupil Ed Lattimore, said: "The campaign calls upon Boris Johnson, who has been so vocal about preserving London's playing fields, and Nick Clegg, who lives closer to the school than the off-site playing fields available, to restore faith in the Government's commitment to sport, education and our national heritage. "
Education Secretary Michael Gove remains under pressure after approving the sale despite opposition from his own advisers.
The Grade II listed building, built in the 1950s, is expected to become an Ark Academy School from next month.
Plans were announced days after it emerged the government is to sell 31 school playing fields, including Elliott School.