I attended a meeting held by Enfield Council proposing a new primary school in the land adjacent to Grovelands Park. I was invited as a key stakeholder because of my interest in Education and my campaign for increased Primary School Provision.
Members of the SWEAT (South West Enfield Action Team) group, created specifically to campaign for local children to go to local schools, and members of FLDRA (Fox Lane District Residents’ Association) also attended in support of the proposals.
Gary Barnes, Assistant Director, Regeneration, presented the concept proposed, a new 2 form entry primary school built in a style to compliment the neighbouring Priory building. The building would be set down in the land and with a green roof so that the vista from the park would not be disturbed. An excellent proposal that is much needed for the local community.
The proposed site consists of disused land as well as overgrown and rundown sport facilities. The site is well hidden from the park and neighbouring roads by lush well established trees. Anyone I have spoken to about that land believes it is part of the park which is what you would want. Would you want waste land, unused and overgrown tennis courts and run down club houses visible to users of the park or visible from the main road? This is down to Enfield Council’s policy of looking after the trees in this area. Well done Enfield for maintaining a beautiful green area even though it surrounds an area that is not totally owned by Enfield Council.
I believe that the land being so well hidden has meant that the unused land has gone unnoticed purely because people do not know that it is there. A large portion of the unused land is currently owned by Thames Water who will sell to Enfield Council should the school proposal go ahead.
My colleagues and I at the meeting were in the minority in our support of a new school that would go some way to alleviate the problem of a lack of school places in our area. A nice school for a nice area and concept proposals which are in keeping with the area. More importantly the proposal will address a community need.
Most who attended did not want anything to change in that area. Some claimed that the Council were being irresponsible by proposing a school near a hospital for patients with mental health problems. Some claimed that there were more than enough primary schools in the area and that another was not needed.
The minority suggested that the proposals would get rid of the criminal activities that currently take place on this land. Some suggested that a new school would allow local children to go to a local school. Some suggested that this would solve the problem faced by local residents who cannot get their children into any local schools, “The Dead Zone” in the Fox Lane area.
A final thought. The land owned by Thames Water is up for sale would those opposing this proposal prefer that it be purchased privately and then developed? A pub maybe or a nightclub or even more housing?