125 Year Lease Proposed for Brent Lea
Council gives a whole new meaning to the word "temporary"
Hounslow Council has a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday where it will discuss arrangements about the Floreat Free School which gained planning permission for a 2 year temporary school on Brent Lea last week.
At last week's Planning Committee (4th June) temporary permission for the school was granted until 30th September 2017 followed by reinstatement of land.
It was therefore a surprise to see that according to the documentation to be agreed at Cabinet that Heads of Terms have been drafted "with Floreat Education Academies Trust to lease 1.2 acres of Brent Lea recreation ground for 125 years, with a peppercorn rent and a £60,000 premium. The £60K capital receipt received as a premium should be available for use on future capital investment. Any agreement to terms for permanent accommodation would be subject to planning consent being granted". This effectively hands over the land to Floreat.
The land for Brent Lea, both the housing estate and the recreation ground, were acquired in the 1960s from The Duke of Northumberland, who is the beneficiary of covenants on the land requiring that the land be used for recreation purposes and requiring consent to be given for the erection of buildings.
S106 money will be expected to be used to develop the remains of Brent Lea recreation ground. The expected cost of the permanent school, which is funded by the EFA or Education Funding Agency, is expected to be in the region of £10 million.
Jo Russell, Brent Lea resident and founder of Save Our Rec campaign group commented "The deceit of the council is staggering. The vote for the temporary site was taken by some councillors who were very disinterested and texting during the meeting. This is our recreation ground that they want to give away, not just for 2 years but 125! It is our playing space and was given to us in 1961 for the purpose of recreation only. The council should insist that the large developers provide space for schools and not just unaffordable flats with no gardens. They have created the problem of lack of school places. Once the rec goes it is lost to us forever, even though we are told it is only for a part of the rec. Do we believe that small school children and the general public would be allowed to share the same space?"
A full planning application for a permanent school will need to be submitted by Floreat.
Members of the public are allowed to observe Cabinet meetings but not participate. Hounslow Council have been asked to comment on the proposed 125 year lease.
Brentford is in need of extra primary and secondary places, and existing schools have had extra classes added where possible.
Find the planning application by visiting planning search (agreeing T&Cs, and then selecting "search planning applications") and then entering 00707/AK/P1 in the box marked Planning number.
There was a public meeting on 28th May to discuss the temporary application.
The temporary application was approved at Planning Committee on 4th June (see both item 4 and the addendum report item 11). Cllr Elizabeth Hughes stated that she would have voted against it had the application been for a permanent building.
June 15, 2015