Nick Raynsford MP complains (16 January, page 30) that the piece on Greenwich Building Schools for the Future (BSF) schemes is misleading and misrepresents Southern Gas’ position on the gas holder that has stalled plans to build a school on the Greenwich peninsula
He says the company has now agreed to undertake a feasibility study on decommissioning the gas holder. But Mr Raynsford should not be surprised if many remain sceptical, since Greenwich council has claimed for almost three years that the holder will be decommissioned imminently.
However, your article deserves more than carping over this single planning problem. Understandably, Nick Raynsford is anxious to talk up peninsula regeneration, especially in view of the adverse report on the subject by the National Audit Office in July 2008. The peninsula will need 10,000 new homes and a secondary school to serve an anticipated population of 25,000 as “an integral part of the new community”. And this is what was provided for by a section 106 agreement for land and funding signed in 2004.
All the more surprising, therefore, that Mr Raynsford fails to acknowledge that the John Roan School – already serving a different, established community and with BSF funding assigned to it – has been earmarked as the peninsula school. Its BSF funding will double up on the section 106 money, and the places in the “new” school will go to children living on the peninsula – while the existing community of north-west Greenwich, already poorly served, will lose its secondary school.
Your piece exposes the vulnerability of BSF funding in the hands of Greenwich council, which refuses to keep the John Roan School’s valuable existing sites for education
Your piece exposes the vulnerability of BSF funding in the hands of Greenwich council, which refuses to keep the John Roan School’s valuable existing sites – nearly four times the size of the peninsula site – for education, and which fails to make sorely needed funding available for the benefit of the existing community.
Sally Hughes, governor, James Wolfe primary school