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Monday, 9 January 2012

The Council is planning to build a new primary school on Botwell Common and Lake Farm Country Park

This will destroy one of the last areas of green belt, open space in our area and set a precedent for the erosion of all the green belt in the south of the borough. The Council has argued that it needs a new primary school and yet has refused to consider properly alternative sites. Many believe that the Council is driven by financial motives and not by local educational needs. Many suspect that if it builds a school on our green belt park, it will be able to sell off other sites in the south of the borough to use these resources in the north of the borough. Yet again our community will suffer by this asset stripping of our area.

There is also a fear that once a primary school is built, taking up nearly half of the existing park, the council will inevitably come back at a later date to build a secondary school on the remainder of the park.

The Council is trying to rush through this attack on our green belt park. Already drilling has taken place on Botwell Common as part of the tests for construction on the site. We now need to mobilise urgently a large scale community campaign to prevent the Council destroying our local green belt open spaces.

Quoted from:


  1. Pauline Greenhalgh24 January 2012 at 08:41

    Buidling should not be taking place on greenbelt land for any reason and especially not by scaring folk with stupid talk of it will cost less 'here' rather than 'there'. How many times do councils and the government have to be told that concreting over everything natural is wrong on all levels. People and esp children need grass, wildlife and natural places as well as schools. Councils must stop or be stopped from having this attitude to every bit of green land they posses. It isn't a natural resource that can be taken away and built on - the council should be made to protect in the same way it protects people's other insterests. To talk on the one hand about the benefits of outdoor excercise, sports development, pond dipping, outdoor education, walking for health and relaxation - family time outside in urban countryside - and you will have a department in your council that espouses all of this and then another branch of the council wants to build over it is ludicrous and its time it was stopped. When are people going to realise that the quality of life people need to live doesn't just come from money - not saving or spending it.

  2. Greenbelt land can NEVER be replaced after it's gone :(

  3. I agree with Pauline Greenhalgh's above comments. The value if green space to people and wildlife is immense, and not just cheap land for developers. In urban London it is at a premium, and should be even more valued for the children in this big city who are not fortunate enough to have access to the countryside. This land is for everyone, for ever and should not be bought and sold, but protected. It has immense value environmentally, for mental health (studies show that access to trees and parks improves people's well-being) and helps people's physical health (walking, play, exploring, reducing obesity). Green belt land such as this is also needed for escaping the stress of urban living, and of course for London's increasingly beleaguered wildlife.

    Be careful of the London councils, they are far from democratic and the campaign needs to be bold, clever and direct and must inform locals (who may be unaware) of both the threat and the true value of the land without the concrete. The alternative sites should be trumpeted and the facts broadcast if you're to avoid the stupid "nimbys against new school" type of propaganda.
    If not, then they'll just to do what Greenwich Council did when it recently laughed at local opinion, sound arguments and all the nice, polite letters of objection and decided to build an unwanted equestrian centre on Metropolitan Open Land at Shooters Hill at a cost of £3 million!! A majority of just 3 councillors, for their own personal political reasons, voted this through, overruling local opinion and permanently removing this green space from public use.

    This is part of a bigger, London-wide, battle against the destroyers. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. And this is the thin end of the wedge, much more development on this land will follow if this goes ahead unopposed.

  4. This could also set a precedent for other councils to build on country parks

  5. Joe O'malley31 January 2012 at 17:20

    Arrogant plums out to destroy green open space,shame on you !.

  6. I have a feeling councillors believe children will be saying to their parents '' Oh isn't it a lovely place, please can we have our school built there" ? (with the potential of having nature lessons in the real wilderness!)

    Yet they know full well that once the school is built, other buildings will follow and this last remaining bit of wilderness is gone forever - with certainly no wildlife for the children to see.
    Oh silly me ... of course - they will put bird boxes up as compensation, the wildlife will be so grateful.
    Neil Mahler.

  7. Nobody want educated children then?

  8. That's quite a dumb comment - read the script again re: "The Council ... ... has refused to consider alternative sites" The Council only want to build the school here, not for the children, but for financial reasons.


  9. There's no money in Nature.
    There's money in Council Tax.

    " They took away the Trees - and put them in a Tree Museum .
    Then they charged the people a Dollar and a Half just to see 'em "