Labour councillors have condemned proposals to open a free school in Tooting, which could leave 400 people jobless.

The Micheala Community School is set to open at the Trident Business Centre, in Bickersteth Road in September this year.

Headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh is accepting admissions, even though planning permission has not yet been granted and owners of the site have not accepted an offer of purchase.

Graveney ward councillors Andy Gibbons, Rex Osborn and Billi Randall said: “As councillors we have thought long and hard about the issues raised by the proposed new ‘free’ school in Tooting.

“We do not want parents left in the lurch by promises of a school that doesn’t happen. The Michaela Community School’s proposal to occupy the Trident Business Centre site has not been planned or thought through.

“The centre is a poor site for a school. Converting it would be costly, would jeopardise more than 400 jobs and would cause great disruption to commerce, traffic and local people in the area round Bickersteth Road.”

The councillors slammed the promise it would create school places for children in the area as the lottery selection process spans a 10-mile radius and would mean children in Tooting were likely to miss out.

The Wandsworth Guardian was told last month there was no room for any additional firms in the building, let alone a free school, which plans to admit 120 pupils in its first year.

A spokesman for the school said: “We are still in negotiations with the Trident Business Centre and nothing can be confirmed yet as it is a commercial situation.

Admissions are open and they are coming in.”

It is home to more than 60 business units, housing agencies and the Tooting town centre manager.

The charity Wands-worth Youth Enterprise Centre manages the building, which was set up to tackle high youth unemployment in an area with a high ethnic minority.