Sutton Liberal Democrats can now dispel recent scaremongering by local Conservatives about the proposed site for a new secondary school that is needed to accommodate the borough's growing pupil numbers by 2019/20.
Following inaccurate claims about a new school on a privately owned site in Mollison Drive in Wallington, we can confirm that a detailed analysis of all possible sites across the borough has shown that the only suitable location is on the All Weather Pitch and hopefully part of the Sports Village in Rosehill Park.
The evidence has been circulated to members of the Local Plan Task & Finish Group, which is expected to recommend to the Housing, Economy & Business Committee in December that the Rosehill site is allocated for a second secondary school in the draft Local Plan.
Projections of the numbers of additional school places required identify a need for two new secondary schools in the borough.
The ex- Sutton Hospital site in Belmont has already been agreed for the first secondary school. National Planning Policy requires the use of brownfield land in preference to Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), so that had to be the first choice to achieve the required planning permission. Rosehill Park is MOL, which is why officers need robust evidence to show that it is the only remaining deliverable site with the space available for a new school.
Cllr Jayne McCoy commented on the news: " Local Conservatives seem to think you can play a game of "pin the tail on the donkey" when it comes to deciding where a new school should go - residents expect more from their Council, and also greatly value their green spaces. That is why we have taken the time to look at a range of sites across the borough to ensure that we really have no option but to locate the new school in a park."
Cllr Wendy Mathys added "The benefit of reviewing all the available sites is that we have found an option for a second secondary school that is much better than when we first looked at the site . With the change of ownership of the Sports Village we hope to be able to minimise the impact on local green space, whilst ensuring we can provide the places for Sutton children in the borough who will be needing them after 2019."