Cllr Sue Luxton reported on her blog about the recent decision to grant the existing primary school at Lewisham Bridge grade II listing.
What this means for plans for the site at Lewisham Bridge is not clear. Additionally as a member of a planning committee that might be called upon to determine a formal planning application, I will need to review all the relevant evidence prepared by Lewisham's officers before I can reach a decision on the particular application.
However the Mayor has taken a somewhat more robust approach to the plans with his press release today:
Lewisham Council has vowed to use all available processes to get the project to provide a new secondary school in the north of the borough back on track.
The declaration has come after the shock decision by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), on the advice of English Heritage, to list Lewisham Bridge primary school. The Council had been about to demolish the school to make way for a brand new state-of-the-art all-age school providing 835 pupils with the best possible learning environment, the latest technology and inspiring new surroundings.
“This decision beggars belief,” said Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock. “It has been made by an undisclosed civil servant with no regard whatsoever for local need. The future prospects of our children and young people cannot be sacrificed for the sake of somebody’s fancy for Edwardian sinks, butterfly designs and tiling.
“Protecting our heritage is important, but while there must be hundreds of schools like this across London, the Lewisham Bridge site is uniquely suited to provide a desperately needed new school to serve the children, young people and families of this area. We know that from our exhaustive searches and consultation over recent years. We have looked at no less than 29 sites, this was the only possible realistic option.
“I will be doing everything I can to get this project back on track.”
The Council will be writing to the Secretary of State at the DCMS to object to the listing. It has until 6 May to do this.
Even if the building remains listed it may still be possible to get consent to demolish.
Lewisham needs additional secondary school capacity to meet current needs and its population is growing, with increased housing capacity on the Sundermead Estate, Heathside and in the Lewisham corridor of the Thames Gateway. The Lewisham Bridge site, close to all these new developments, is ideally located to meet the demand for new school places this will create.
The press release explains that Lewisham has 28 days to formally object to the listing - what do you think?
There's a poll on my blog.