Tonight's Strategic Planning Committee considered the plans for the rebuilding of Deptford Green School. The plans set out committed the school to reaching 'Excellent' in the BREEAM rating for sustainable construction - rather than the highest level 'Outstanding'. This is a bit of a let down - but it was explained away by the fact that going for 'Outstanding' could cost more. However what was more of a concern was that the architects who presented the scheme sprung a proposal to downgrade the sustainability rating to 'Very Good' - the applicants had given no advance warning of this to the planning officers or the committee members. The applicants provided no evidence as to why they might not be able to afford the 'Outstanding' rating that they had prepared.
Deptford Green is a major public redevelopment - Lewisham should be trailblazing sustainable construction and development - not reluctantly complying with the very minimal planning policies and then trying to wriggle out of those by trying to change a complicated scheme at committee.
So, the end of term report for this might read "Deptford Green missed the chance to be outstanding, did some good work to show how it could be excellent but rather blotted their copy book with a bit of a cheeky bid to be only 'very good' at the final stage."
The new buildings, bringing about a school on one site and a new small open space to compensate for grabbing a bit of Fordham Park should be a major and immediate improvement in this area. It is to be hoped that as the plans work their way into being actually built the emphasis is on moving closer to 'Outstanding' rather than 'Very Good' over this period.