the Editor, Surrey Comet
Cllr Dennis Doe wrote into your paper, March 19th ‘No five year delay on primary school plan.’ He mentions two sites which he claims are of sufficient size and could be built as quickly as new primary schools on Surbiton Hospital site. Well, simply he is wrong.
The proposed site at Surbiton Hospital as listed in planning application 09/16534 (that he quotes) is 0.55ha with a school building of 3,000 sq m. A quick check using the Council’s ISIS map system of the King Charles Centre land (not the Avondale gym or school cottage) shows the site to be 3849sq m (0.38ha) and the Newent site is 4313sq m (0.43ha).
Clearly this isn’t sufficient room for a two form entry school with associated facilities. Unless Dennis Doe and the local Tories don’t think the children need outdoor space - after all everyone remembers the school playing fields the Tories sold off in the 1980s!
As for time to build, it is fairly clear that using Surbiton Hospital site requires planning permission, demolition of current buildings and the build of a new school. Using King Charles Centres or Newent House would require:
• Planning permission for relocating services at Surbiton Hospital site
• Demolition of Surbiton Hospital buildings
• Building new adult education or elderly care – with significant cost of re-provisioning those existing services, as well as the associated problems and risk of moving the most vulnerable and elderly
• Relocation of services to new sites
• Planning permission for school on King Charles Centre or Newent House
• Demolition of buildings
• Build new school
How he thinks this extended programme will not take longer is irrational.
As for the sustainability of the Surbiton Hospital site, no site will ever be absolutely perfect. However, this site does have advantages over others he mentions:
• Proximity to buses will with the help green travel plan
• It will serve residents of St Marks Ward and Surbiton Hill, rather than just Berrylands
Cllr Liz Green
St Mark’s Ward
Deputy Leader of the Council
Liberal Democrat Group Rooms
Kingston upon Thames