Monday, 8 March 2010

Gordonbrock rebuild goes ahead

Despite a concerted campaign by the powerful Brockley Society and Victorian Society, I am pleased to learn that the rebuild of the school is going ahead. Parents and the school have been fighting a long campaign to secure funding and planning consent to rebuild the school which is not fit for purpose. Two classes have to be taught in this post war hut with an asbestos roof! The plans for the school look fantastic, with a bio-mass boiler, grass roof, larger class rooms with more natural light. Even the Victorian school keepers house is being retained. The local ward Green Party councillors for the ward are clearly split over the issue. Sue Luxton appearing to give the plans critical support. Thankfully a review of finance regarding the school rebuilding programme has ensured the rebuilding plans will go ahead. The Green Party is usually in the pocket of the Brockley and Ladywell Society and it can be argued that it is their "political wing".

1 comment:

  1. Nick
    I think it's fair to say that the views of parents and local residents on this are very mixed, with many in favour but many very vocally opposed. The three ward councillors have long supported the school and parents in calling for investment in the school fabric, but we were concerned that simply dusting off 5 year old plans and adding a woodchip boiler to reach the minimum renewables requirement was selling the people of Ladywell short, given how things have moved forward over the past 5 years in sustainable building design.

    That said, we recognised that as there was already a valid planning application to part demolish and rebuild the school, the best we could realistically do was push for improvements to the revised planning application, which is what we did.

    Critical support is probably the way I would put it, and that goes for all 3 Ladywell ward councillors. And as for Brockley Society and Ladywell Society - of course we work with them as ward councillors, sometimes we agree with them, sometimes we don't, but those of us that sit on planning committees have to keep an open mind on applications in case they come to one of our committees.

    The article below from our ward newsletter summarises our view on the Gordonbrock rebuild:

    "Gordonbrock School is going to have two of its existing buildings demolished and the other two refurbished. The new planning permission contains only minor revisions of the planning application passed five years ago and the buildings will achieve little more than minimum sustainability standards.

    However, as a result of our lobbying, the new building will now have a living roof, rainwater recycling and solar panels.

    We welcome the long overdue investment in the school fabric and the new school promises to provide a much better learning environment for the children than currently.

    However, we regret the opportunity was not taken for a more ambitious refurbishment of the existing buildings or a fresh and more imaginative approach to the new building design.

    In the meantime, the 18 months of decant will be an unsettling period and we will be working closely with parents and Council staff to ensure any disruption is minimised."