Tag Archives: Free Schools

Wood Lane Yellow Lines: the council would not do it like that

Not remotely close to the Camden Town earthquake described by Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son but one way or another, the rumblings caused by the coming of the schools to Osterley continue to be felt.

Midway on Wood Lane, Isleworth looking south

The latest wee spat is the yellow lining debacle of Wood Lane, more on that in a bit but first some reminding context.

The Mary McCleod Memorial Academy on Wood Lane is now up and being clad, due to open in a year’s time.

Digging on another part of the site for the £9 million minority sports complex has, these past days, literally caused a stink and rumours of more gruesome finds to add to the earlier commotion caused by the removal of ancient hedgerow and trees on Syon Lane.

A couple of weeks ago, approval was given to what someone described as a “delightful” looking building but what many would confirm as another bland box to become the Bolder (might as well call it the Bona) Academy. Why not pay homage to its location? Doesn’t Osterley deserve a name check with all that has been foisted?

Very few people have difficulty in accepting the new Osterley Comprehensive locating on the former United Biscuits sports ground on Macfarlane Lane; hardly touching the green stuff. Uniquely, in these parts, it will not select pupils based on religions, will accept from both gender and likely not to live as far away as those attending St Mary’s.

With some major planning applications, plenty expertise is often developed by ordinary people who at some point are likely to be affected by the ultimate decision. One common thread in all these (costly) free school applications is how the pupils will be delivered and despatched either side of the school day. The key theme in scrutiny of recent and upcoming (Green School for Boys) planning were and will be traffic impacts and should another school receive approval, there will be five schools, each with over 1,000 students within a mile and a half radius of each other.

The problem that is most likely to occur before very long is that with a local public transport accessibility level of almost zero, there will be more than a temptation to bring children to the schools by car via the already congested Syon Lane and Gillette Corner.

In planning terms there’s always mitigation, soft in most cases. School travel plans are often cited as a salve but as can be seen from the June 2017 Nishkam School West London Travel Plan, 75% of their scholars are taken by car. Travel plans often look good on paper, not able to foresee the future but appear to tick planning boxes. In reality, there is no substitute for spending money on infrastructure but this has been scant in Osterley despite the recent demands for its open space.

When the Bolder omies punted their building proposals at the Osterley and Wyke Green Residents Association’s open meeting in December 2016, attended by the leader of the council and the head of planning, a second route from Harlequin Avenue via Great West Road was included, understood and appreciated. Despite later citing Grant Way, by the time it hit planning, the only access to the school site would be from Macfarlane Lane via the already and soon to be more strained Syon Lane. The scheme’s architect gave a less than convincing and more than half assed reason as to why the much diminished route would be optimal.

So, what about the Wood Lane yellow lines that appeared with no warning on 4 August 2017? It. Was. Not. Hounslow. Council.

The pooch was actually screwed by the government quango, the Education and Skills Funding Agency contractor, BAM and installed without any local arrangement or discussion with the council. After the event, BAM’s Nishkam School project manager wrote, “I’m sorry for the trouble this has caused you and hopefully it can be fully resolved through the consultation” or in other words, “we messed up, you sort it out”.

The council’s traffic team were prepared to consult on yellow lines for Wood Lane largely due to recent haphazard parking on this narrow width and paved road, reported by residents but BAM stole their bluster.

Proper consultation will shortly take place on this proposal and until this is complete [to avoid damage to the road] the lines will not be touched but neither will they be enforceable. Residents are encouraged to respond and alternative suggestions will be considered.

TL 17.8.2017

Comments Off on Wood Lane Yellow Lines: the council would not do it like that

Filed under Education, Great West Road, H28 bus, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Parking, Planning, Road works, Roads, Schools, Traffic, Wyke Green

Macfarlane Lane Sports Ground: New school proposal presentation on 23.2.2017

A presentation from the architects and promoters of a new free school on the council owned and current Grasshoppers site off Syon Lane, Isleworth will be made at Hounslow Council’s Planning Development Presentation meeting on Thursday 23 February 2017 starting 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber at Hounslow Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW3 4DN.

Hounslow Civic Centre from Lampton Park

Hounslow Civic Centre from Lampton Park

Planning presentation meetings are where promoters of developments show their ideas to members of the council planning committee prior to the submission of a formal planning application.

bolder-academy-header1

So far, there is just one item on the agenda, a proposal for the “demolition of existing club house and construction of a two to four storey, 1,150 pupil secondary school, including ancillary access, parking, sports pitches and multi use games area” for the as yet to be established, mixed and non religious Bolder Academy.  The proposed school was one of the items presented and discussed at the OWGRA meeting on 6 December 2016.

Residents are welcome to attend the meeting as observers but are not allowed to speak although I would welcome any appropriate questions to convey during the proceedings.

TL  11.2.2017

Comments Off on Macfarlane Lane Sports Ground: New school proposal presentation on 23.2.2017

Filed under Council Business, Education, Middlesex, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, Schools, Wyke Green

Greenwood Osterley Archers: staying put and supported

Under varied names but in the borough since the 1950s, Greenwood Osterley Archers have been in Isleworth since 1973. First at the Conquest Club and since 2002 subletting space from Grasshoppers RFC at Macfarlane Lane, the former United Biscuits sports ground owned by Hounslow Council since 1992.

Proposal for the new £9.7m Grasshoppers RFC facility at the Conquest Club to be funded by Hounslow Council

Proposal for the new £9.7m Grasshoppers RFC facility at the Conquest Club to be funded by Hounslow Council

There was a council cabinet decision in March 2016 to sell the UB sports ground, part to the Education Funding Agency for another free school and the rest to BSkyB raising £3.7m. In addition to that amount, cabinet also agreed to borrow a further £6m to build and relocate Grasshoppers RFC to a brand new facility on the northern part of the Conquest Club, next to the proposed Nishkam Free School.

Greenwood Osterley Archers on a Sturday morning shoot at Macfarlane Lane

Greenwood Osterley Archers on a Sturday morning shoot at Macfarlane Lane

Concerned that these changes would render it homeless, I accepted an invitation to the archery club at one of its Saturday morning shoots to discuss securing is medium and long term future and later arranged a meeting with the leader of the council, Councillor Steve Curran.

Greenwood Osterley Archers Mia, Marie, Sailesh Alan and Lynette with Councillor Steve Curran and Suzie Munnery of the LBH Sports and Public Health Team at the Indian Gymkhana

Greenwood Osterley Archers Mia, Marie, Sailesh, Alan and Lynette with Councillor Steve Curran and Suzie Munnery of the LBH Sports and Public Health Team at the Indian Gymkhana

We met at the Indian Gymkhana last night to discuss a way forward and Steve Curran confirmed that Grasshoppers RFC should allow the GOA should stay at Macfarlane Lane until their move. It was also agreed that the council would work to find an alternative permanent site for the archers within the borough and this would include examining how GOA could be incorporated within the proposed new free school and BSkyB development.

Further information about Greenwood Osterley Archers may be found here and about Grasshoppers RFC here.

TL  3.6.2016

Comments Off on Greenwood Osterley Archers: staying put and supported

Filed under Events, Health, Leisure, Osterley, Schools, Sky

White Lodge Club Site: Planning Committee on Thursday 3.12.2015

To be held in the Lampton Park Conference Centre, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW3 4DN at 7.30 pm – a meeting to be held in public but not a public meeting.

civiccentre

The ambition of the Nishkam Free School and its backers to locate on this sports ground may be settled by the 15 members of Hounslow’s Planning Committee later this week.

This follows what appears to have been a few years of assurances, interventions, submissions, challenges and generally civilized discussion in the neighbourhoods of Osterley and North Isleworth and beyond. Even Eric Pickles and the Earl of Jersey’s firm got in on the action.

Whatever the outcome, it has always been about making residents aware of what’s happening and improving the flow of dialogue and documents locally in Osterley & Spring Grove Ward. Continue reading

Comments Off on White Lodge Club Site: Planning Committee on Thursday 3.12.2015

Filed under Council Business, Education, Events, Great West Road, H28 bus, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, Schools

Nishkam responds to residents’ concerns

NishkamLogoBThis week, all Hounslow councillors received a letter from Vincent & Gorbing dealing with the proposal to build a free school for 1400 children on the White Lodge site at 152 Syon Lane.  Vincent & Gorbing is both the architectural company for the development and supplies the agent who submitted the application.  They deal closely with planning officers on planning matters related to the development.

The purpose of the letter was to alert councillors to what V&G, on behalf of the Nishkam School Trust and the taxpayer bankrolled Educational Funding Agency, what they consider to be incorrect information about the development coming from the volunteer run residents’ group Keep Osterley Green.

Specifically the document to which the V&G referred to is a KOG document entitled Who is Spreading Rumours. This document was sent to all councillors as a reaction to a general comment about rumours in an earlier e mail from V&G to all councillors; you can see that here.

The letter from V&G can be found here and should Keep Osterley Green respond, I’ll again, to encourage the fullest possible debate, share as I have tried to do with previous communications.

TL  18.9.2015

Comments Off on Nishkam responds to residents’ concerns

Filed under Education, Neighbourhoods, Osterley, Planning, Wyke Green