Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lewisham Bridge School gets grade II listing

The architecture minister, Barbara Follett, has given Lewisham Bridge Primary School building grade II listed status. There is an article with further details of the grounds for listing it here. Some local residents will be pleased, while others, including I suspect Mayor Steve Bullock, will be tearing their hair out in exasperation.

If the Council decides to press ahead with plans for a new secondary school on the site, it will need to get listed building consent for demolition first. However I imagine that this announcement may well mean going back to the drawing board and the prospect of Lewisham getting a much-needed secondary school by September 2010, following many years of delays seems to be receding.

The primary school pupils, meanwhile, are due to start at their decant site, Mornington Centre, when they come back from the Easter break.

13 comments:

thomas said...

Excellent news! Now maybe Lewisham Council will listen to its residents and use this fine Edwardian building for its original purpose as a school - its not rocket science. And stop being fooled by the old adage All that glitters is not New (or theres no fool like an old Bullock).

We are fed up seeing our heritage being destroyed by Lewisham in the name of regeneration. Keep this school as a school, and whilst you're at it, reopen Forest Hill pool and refurbish Ladywell pool too. All of these buildings were well built and are fit for purpose, unlike the shoddy new development you want to force on us. Look at Hackney which closed a Victorian pool and built a cheap new one yet within weeks that was shut down as it leaked - shut down for years.

g_thurley said...

Education Development policy in Lewisham is a mess! New schools are needed in the north of the Borough - this was disputed a few years ago by the Council, so the chance for new schools on the Convoy's Wharf site were rejected. A few weeks ago, a Council official admitted that a school was needed in the north of the Borough, and Lewisham Bridge was as far north as they could get. The Council, in its Core Strategy Options document (Option 1), is pushing for a huge residential building programme in the north of the Borough. Where are children to be educated?? Even given the present demographics, according to a Council official, a new 3 form entry primary is needed within the next 5 years and secondary school will also be needed, but "no sites have been identified".
And why does the Council want to push education out of Council control into a Federation umbrella?
And!, why does this Council seem hell-bent on destroying Lewisham's architectural and cultural heritage? Is there no pride in Lewisham's past??

Eleanor said...

This is excellent news, but this has happened with no thanks to the Green Party who have consistently backed Steve Bullock on this.

Sue, you are right that Lewisham does need a new secondary school, but not at the expense of Lewisham Bridge. What you fail to point out is that the proposed new school has failed to meet many of the government guidelines in its design. You also don't mention that our assets i.e. the land and the buildings have been given away to an unaccountable body The Leathersellers Company. This isn't just unfortunate it's an absolute disgrace! We will have no say over what happens at that school because it will be in the hands of Leathersellers and not Lewisham Council.

Yes you're right there is potential for a delay in the planning process and that is why the Socialist Party at the Council AGM a couple of weeks ago put an emergency motion to call on the council to delay the decant which will cause unnecessary disruption to our children. Your party decided to vote along with the Labour party on a procedural motion to manouevre the SP's motion so that it was not even debated. SHAME! We are having a photo shoot outside the school tomorrow. Why don't you come down Sue to explian to us parens why you won't support us and why you support the idea that it's okay for our kids to be bussed for over 3 miles everyday for the next 2 years at least!

Sue said...

That would be the same Socialist councillors, Cllrs Flood and Page who, along with every other Councillor present voted for the following motion in November 2006:

“This Council wholeheartedly endorses the decision by Mayor and Cabinet to select Lewisham Bridge as its preferred site for the new school to create an all-through 3-16 integrated school. This Council therefore agrees to work constructively with Mayor and Cabinet to minimise the risks associated with this project and overcome any potential obstacles in order to ensure the new school is delivered by the target date of 2010.

This Council also wishes to congratulate the long standing and vigorous campaign run by the Save Ladywell Campaign and The School for New Cross/Local Education by Parents groups. In particular this council commends the significant roles played by both Max Calo and former Councillor Helen Le Fevre”.

liwo said...
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Eleanor said...

I am not an apologist for the Socialist Party and I would take issue with their decision to support that proposal in 2006. However they have since changed their position ( I believe politicians are allowed to do that) and given our campaign their full support.

It is completely outrageous that our children are expected to leave their empty school behind and travel by bus to a site over 1.5 miles away.

Sue I know that Defend Education in Lewisham would be very happy to discuss this issue further with you as would many parents. Why don't you come down to the school on Thursday morning to talk to anxious parents (many of whom are in your ward) and listen to their concerns?

wklo said...
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Rach said...

Backing a secondary school on Lewisham Bridge site doesn't mean you then have to back any school proposal; even when the provision falls short of educational guidelines. Nor does it mean that you have to support the closure of a primary school part way through the accademic year, when there isn't even a contract start date.

Geoffrey said...

The November 2006 resolution that Sue has posted is an interesting double-header obviously designed as a "catch-all". The Socialist Party colleagues in Telegraph Hill Ward of Helen Le Fevre were hardly likely to have voted against the "commendation" she receives in the second paragraph, even if they were unsure of/opposed to the first paragraph.
It is disappointing that a procedural motion ("next business") was supported in order to stifle debate on a pressing education matter. The AGM of the Council may not have been the "proper" occasion, but time passes..........

Sue said...

No Geoffrey, that wasn't how it was. The Socialists supported the Mayor's decision to build the planned new school at Lewisham Bridge instead of demolish Ladywell Pool the same as we did, and in fact they were pictured in the local papers posing in front of the school with other campaigners calling for the Mayor to look again at building it there rather than demolish the pool. I believe their position is still that they are not against the idea of a new school being built at the Lewisham Bridge site per se, but that they wanted clarification on the various outstanding planning issues before the decant took place.

Mat said...

They need a bigger site. Why not tie up the new secondary school with the huge site next to Lewisham Bridge, and save us from all that hideous over development. Tower blocks, tower blocks and more tower blocks. We have been bought cheap by developers. One tiny swimming pool (lovely glass on the facade though), and will it be a public pool? Or one the residential development will let the public use, occasionally?
How about a secondary school with its own sports facilities that we can all use out of school hours? Tell Barretts to go home with their high rise. There won't be school places for the new residents anyway, or rather for the old ones who won't be living quite so close as a tower full of children. Save the problem of finding a new site for the extra primary school children by building less flats and using space for secondary school.

Sue said...

Mat, I believe the deal for Loampit Vale has already been signed between the Council and the developers, so I don't think they will give up half the land earmarked for housing there to build a school, unfortunately. I think it is due to go to planning committee fairly soon.

The swimming pool will be fully open to the public though, the same as Ladywell Pool currently is - the developers hand it over to the Council upon completion.

Re sports facilities, the plan for the new school is that the sports facilities will be open for public use out of school hours: I asked this question at the last public meeting and was assured that would be the case.

Paul Burnell said...

I'm glad that the building has been listed. It is an attractive building and looks good from the river in Cornmill Gardens. It gives a more human 'scale' to the environment than the huge planned buildings on the Loampit Vale site. It provides a link back to the history and heritage of Lewisham in a centre that is now an increasingly large area of uninspired new build. Also - isn't it better to reuse an existing thing rather than scrap it and build something new?