Children will be unfairly denied access to one of the borough’s most popular and oversubscribed primary schools if a council proposal goes ahead, an MP and residents said.

To meet increasing demand for primary school places in Northcote Ward, Wandsworth Council is proposing to create a second building for Belleville School using the site of the old Vines School, half-a-mile away in Forthbridge Road, Shaftesbury ward.

The council wants to use the site from September 2011 but, crucially, wants to keep enrolment based on proximity to the main Belleville site.

It said the solution would address the shortage of places in Northcote, but Battersea MP Martin Linton said while he supported using the site for a school the proposal was unjust.

He said: “It is unfair to people living in Shaftesbury to not have access to a school that is on their doorstep. I should have thought a better solution would be to make this a new free-standing primary school.

“And this could become a self-generating problem. You will get more and more people moving near Belleville if the criteria stays the same.”

Anne Lindsay, a resident living near the proposed site, said: “Surely if there are too many people in the ward for schools in the ward, the answer is to build schools there or for residents to buy homes where there are schools, not to exacerbate the divide between the have and have nots by bussing the privileged into another area?”

A Wandsworth Council spokesman defended its policy as the most sensible solution to tackle the shortage.

He said: “We think this is a reasonable, effective and pragmatic solution to the problem. There is no shortage of school places in the area around the Vines, and plenty of other very good schools.

“If parents in this part of the borough wish to apply for a place at an enlarged Belleville, then they are of course free to do so. In future it is quite possible that their applications could be given greater weight in the admissions process.”

An initial consultation into the proposals has closed, a statutory consultation will take place in late May.

The Vines was closed in July 2007 and is currently temporary home to Paddock Primary School, which will move to its refurbished site in Putney this September.

Are the proposals fair? Use the form below to let us know what you think...