Kingstons House in Norbiton is the site identified by the Conservative Government for a new two form entry primary school which could see the well known 1960s office building demolished to enable development of a part 3, 4 and 7 storey school building and 25 residential dwellings for September 2017.
A planning application has been submitted on behalf of the Education Funding Agency to Kingston Council for determination. Chapel Street Community Trust has already opened Kingston Community School on a temporary site in Acre Road, Kingston.
Speaking on the controversial purchase of the site and the staggering amount of money that will be spent by the Government, Councillor Tom Davies, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education said:
“There is a significant need for primary school places in the Borough - but one has to question the wisdom of the Education Funding Agency who paid £10.5million for Kingstons House without even surveying it beforehand! And subsequently discovering the staircases and corridors were too narrow for a school they now plan to spend a further £7.6million on rebuilding a school on a site that has fundamental limitations on a confined site. It raises serious questions about the Education Funding Agency’s procurement ability and the local Conservative Administration for not communicating the inappropriateness of this site.”
Councillor Tom Davies is not on the Planning Committee that will decide the application but has spoken to residents locally and is urging them to take part in the "planning consultation.
Cllr Patricia Bamford, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson, said
“Has anyone thought about air quality in this area? And now to offset the huge costs, the application contains 25 flats but because the costs of providing the school far outweigh the capital receipt from the sale of the proposed flats, yet again, Kingston’s residents, will not even benefit from affordable housing.”