OWGRA report back with concerns over access
A new secondary school serving Brentford children is proposed. The Bolder Academy would be a free school for 1150 secondary pupils on the site currently occupied by the Grasshoppers Rugby Club in Osterley. The land concerned is Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) owned by the London Borough of Hounslow.
The proposal is based on the agreed move of the Grasshoppers Rugby Club to the northern half of the former White Lodge/Conquest Club site between Syon Lane and Wood Lane in Osterley. To facilitate the move Hounslow Council will fund (at public expense) the transfer of Grasshoppers, including the erection of a new clubhouse and administration pavilion, to the tune of £6m.
MOL is normally supposed to be protected from development except in “exceptional circumstances”. Hounslow Council believes that those special circumstances apply and has been supporting the proposed Bolder Academy.
The Council also plans to sell some of the MOL it owns to Sky to facilitate the establishment of a private leisure centre. This follows the Council’s approval of another school development of the Nishkam school for 1400 children on the other side of Syon Lane, also on MOL.
A public meeting was held at the Isleworth & Syon School in Osterley on 22 March 2017 after repeated requests by local ward councillors and the Osterley & Wyke Green Residents’ Association (OWGRA). The meeting was attended by some 42 people plus Bolder representatives.
Whilst the essence of the scheme was effectively conveyed to the audience, details of the impact on Syon Lane in respect of access to the school, both vehicular and pedestrian, was seriously lacking. This issue had previously been signalled as one of great concern. It was also apparent that little or no thought had been given to alternative or additional means of access to the new school via Harlequin Avenue, Grant Way or other possibilities. There seems to be some confusion as to what contact has been made, if any, with Tesco, SKY or other resident landowners to facilitate such access. If this is not addressed, then there is the prospect of some 3000 pupils and staff (of the Nishkam and Bolder schools) using Syon Lane on a daily basis with all the attendant consequences for congestion and pollution, not to speak of the safety of the children.
It is to be hoped that these clearly expressed concerns will be taken on board before the planning application is finally submitted but the responses so far to these concerns are not encouraging.
More information is also available at www.planningbolder.org.uk
The school will be a 6 form entry for 11-16 and provide post-16 education for 250 students as well as providing a specialist centre for 25 SEN children.
The expectation is that the school will be open in September 2018 and you can register your interest for a place now.
Do send your comments in to firstname.lastname@example.org
March 29, 2017