Stop the council building 6-storey flats on Avonmore Primary School’s playground

Stop the council building 6-storey flats on Avonmore Primary School’s playground

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Avonmore Residents' Association started this petition to hammersmith & fulham council

We support the re-building of Avonmore Primary School but call on Hammersmith & Fulham Council to find a better way to finance it.

Our mission

To stop the council demolishing an historic building, destroying the mature trees lining Avonmore Road and building two 6-storey blocks of 91 flats in the heart of our community - without following their own rules on consultation or consideration for the wishes and needs of local residents.

The Story So Far

Gordon Cottage is an attractive Victorian house adjacent to Avonmore Primary School. It has been earmarked for demolition by Hammersmith & Fulham council as part of its scheme to redevelop the school. This entails valuing Gordon Cottage at a knock-down price of £1million as an excuse for demolishing it and granting permission to build 91 flats on the site. Over 240 people signed a petition to save Gordon Cottage. The Hammersmith Society, the H&F Climate and Ecological Emergency Commission and the Avonmore Residents’ Association and other resident groups have all lodged strong objections.

Our Objections

Local residents support improvements to the school, which is an important asset to the community. But we strongly believe the council’s current plan will end up doing more harm than good to that very same community. Furthermore, the manner in which the council has sought to push this scheme through without proper consultation is, we believe, unprofessional and unacceptable.

Why We Believe The Current Scheme Is Misguided

The area, which is already one of the most densely populated in the borough, cannot comfortably accommodate a further 91 flats, with the associated traffic and demands on local services, such as GP practices and primary schools. In addition, the new school does not, as plans stand, represent a significant improvement on the current one. Indeed, it could be argued that it will serve pupils less well, since in addition to creating a single-entry school sandwiched between large blocks of flats - one which could never be expanded - the school would lose its playground and the open space this provides which is an important part of pupils’ wellbeing.

The council, via its design team, insists that this scheme is the only funding option for the redevelopment of the school. Yet there is no evidence of any due diligence in this respect, or that other means of finance have been properly investigated. In addition, the design team has tried to have us believe that Gordon Cottage is worth less than £1m, when in fact it has been independently valued at twice that. Furthermore, they have misrepresented the heights of neighbouring mansion blocks to justify the height of the proposed new blocks, which naturally leads us to question their suitability for this scheme.

The Department of Education’s estimate for building a school of this size is no more than £6m. Gordon Cottage - a 'Building of Merit' in Conservation Area 23, has been independently valued at over £2m. There are surely better ways, including potential D of E funding, to raise another £4m than building 91 flats in one of the most densely population areas of London.

The proposed development also requires the cutting down of almost all the mature trees surrounding the school. If this scheme goes ahead, that space and those trees will be gone forever. And there is no mention of how this plan fits with H&F Council’s stated aims to be carbon zero by 2030 and the greenest Borough in the country.

What we are asking for

A thorough review of the scheme itself and alternative funding structures and an immediate suspension of all plans until a way forward has been agreed that meets the need of all stakeholders, not just those of H&F council.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!