Saturday 3 January 2015

Planning Officers recommend consent for Welsh School in King Edward VII Park

London Welsh School children at their Stonebridge site last year
Brent Planning Officers' report to be presented to the Planning Committee on January 13th  recommends that consent be granted for change of use of the Bowling Green Pavilion in King Edward VII Park as a school, construction of an additional one storey classroom and a land swap with the lawned area adjacent to Collins Lodge.

The report can be seen HERE

Earlier coverage on Wembley Matters is HERE

It goes to Planning Committee on January 13th (Civic Centre 7pm) and the committee will make a site visit at about 9.35am on Saturday January 10th. You can ask to speak on the application (2 minutes)  at the committee meeting by contacting : 

Joe Kwateng, Democratic Services Officer  020 8937 1354, Email: 

Wembley Central ward councillor Sam Stopp  is speaking on the issue at Planning Committee and is asking for residents' views. Contact


Anonymous said...

I see a Sun headline forming in my mind:


Anonymous said...

Is this the most complex application brought before the committee since the local elections...?

Lots to consider ... the suggestion from parents at the school is that the school will cease to exist if this doesn't get the go-ahead...

Anonymous said...

Please see comment no. 25 from Karen on the original Wembley Matters article. She raises some very valid points!

Anonymous said...

Its important to highlight that they have previously applied for free school status and were unsuccessful. It is not until the debate on their location that relevant information is becoming apparant. What is to stop them from applying for free school status if they were to become successful? Brent planning department needs to adhere to the planning laws which clear state the exceptional reasons for building on park land and a school is not a reason. There is a wonderful local charity based in Chesterfield House that links into the local community and would be more appropriately placed in that building.

Its surprising when investigating this matter that there is certain information that has not been offered by the school ie failure to secure free school status yet the angle that is used us that they are a charity.

Anonymous said...

Wembley Central Local Matters is the charity that is currently based at in Chesterfield House and I agree that would be a great location for them. A good cause which reflects and works for the local community.

It would make a great resource centre that would be available to locals.

Anonymous said...

Oh I smeill a rat failed free school application not once but twice!!!!!!! Surely they must be looking to tweak the failed applications and maybe make it third time lucky. Parks, public parks at that are not viable spaces for independent schools, or Free schools even those who have failed applications.

Keep the park a public space.

Anonymous said...

In a small radius there are several schools - Park Lane, St Josephs, Ark Academy to name just a few so I believe there is not a need for a school in the park.

Anonymous said...

Brent planning department conclude that the change of use of the former bowling pavilion into the London Welsh School will ensure that the building does not become derelict and is an appropriate use within the park. The reason given is not a justifiable reason to grant the building to the school. It is quiet poor actually.
If you look at the planning application the school looked in excess of 98 properties and the current building was included but was originally rejected. When you look at the list of buildings looked at they either seems to be community type centres that are already in use and were deemed unsuitable due to no play area for the pupils. So the park is a beautiful location in comparison to what properties were visited – use goggle images to get an idea.
The school were at potential risk not too long ago and were successfully able to get a reprieve in their current location. The question that needs to be asked is why were their needs not taken into account when the planning was being made at Stonebridge School? I can only presume as indicated in previous posts it is a fee paying school!!!! With the amount of redevelopment in Stonebridge – the old estate knocked down why was a home not made for the school by Brent Council considering they have been part of the local area for 58 years. The school opened in Willesden Green in 1958 with 30 pupils. It moved to the current site in Stonebridge in 2000. A total of 14 years and their needs were not factored into the redevelopment within the area.
Clearly they have been proactive in trying ensure their viability by applying for free school status, even though both applications were unsuccessful. What is stopping them from making a third application once situated in the park?
The charity approach is being used to drive the application forward but the school charges fees and therefore in reality is an independent fee charging school. This fact has to be made more apparent. It’s in the business of education. It does not have a place in a park.
In the article in Academies weekly which was published in September 2014 – The following was stated ‘Eleri Brady, the school’s chair of governors, added: “We’re a tiny school, it’s a big application process taking a lot of time and effort and I’m not sure we are the type of school that the DfE is looking to fund.”
Asked if the school would apply again, Miss Sullivan said: “I would never say never but it depends what the board decides and if we feel the timing is right.” – With the site in the park secured it seems the timing will become right.
Please stop trying to try and fool the local community. All Independent schools are registered charities all plays into the tax game. So please stop using the charity card. If the local authority wants to prevent the building from become derelict offer it to local groups. Not a private educational business.

Anonymous said...

In Black and White - A hidden agenda I thinks!!!!!Free School Article which appeared in academies week

Anonymous said...

In response to an earlier comment made about the number of children in the school - As quoted in the article in Academies Week Mrs Brady said: “The families that we have here at the moment, nearly all of them have at least one Welsh parent, we’ve got one or two who just have some connection with Wales. It’s like a little Welsh village in Brent.”

Anonymous said...

Hidden agenda!!!! its interesting following this blog amazing whats unraveling. I hope the space remains in the public domain for the park users and local community.

Anonymous said...

Reading all of this Sam Stopp seems to be the only proactive Councillor - his website comments on th contact and support his giving the local residents. I have not heard about any support from cllr.wilhelmina.mitchellmurray or cllr.krupa.sheth. Lets see if our local votes count will the elected fight the course ??? .

Martin Francis said...

To be fair councillors from the same ward, and especially if they are the same party, often divide up case work and Sam Stopp appears to be leading on this.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the bowling pavilion, being located in the park, should be marketed for other community orientated uses

Anonymous said...

However, it wouldn't hurt if sheth or mitchell-murray made their voices heard. One sentence does not take long to type.

Jaine Lunn said...

I cannot believe that Brent Council is entertaining any planning applications on public park land regardless of who the applicant is.
What short memories they have, and no affinity with history. After all,
King Edward VII Park it's 26 acres were bought by the council in 1913 for £8,050.00 to compensate the residents of Wembley for the loss of Parkland at Wembley Park which was then being developed as a high class residential garden suburb. It was opened by Queen Alexandra herself in memory of her late husband on 4th July 1914.

This is more relevant now than it was then. The population of Wembley has increased by 20% over the last 10 years and shows no sign of receding. Over the past few years Wembley has experienced building and development of gigantic proportions at unprecedented rate which is set to continue in light of Quintain's ambitious development of Wembley Stadium estate and surrounding areas, building thousands ( approx 4700) of high rise flats with little or minimal consideration to providing green open space. Much of what is provided in terms of gardens or landscaping is not designated for use as a play area where ball games or any form of free active play can be enjoyed, picnics, barbeques, throwing frisbee's or balls, any noise, exercising pets is not allowed and often is strictly prohibited. So any residents wishing to participate in any of the above need to find their nearest open green space i.e King Edward VII Park.

Over the past few years the residents have experienced an enormous loss of green open space removed from the public domain, Wembley Sports and Social grounds to Ark Academy, Coplands Fields to the New Ark Elvin Academy, the latter still remains a mystery to many of us.
How did Brent Council manage to dispose of this land?
How much was paid for it?
Where and when was the public enquiry or consultation held for the residents of Wembley to have their say prior to this happening?
As I for one would have been there to object.

King Eddie's Park as it is affectionately called is a true family park which is well used by the residents of Wembley Central and Preston Park Wards, and the wider community, many of which reside in flats with no access to any communal green space. A current holder of a Green Flag award, as a part of local history should be preserved in its present state

The buildings currently in the Park, i.e. Bowling Pavilion, Collin's Lodge and the main pavilion in the centre should be opened up and remain in the public domain for use by local residents, charities and community based organisations who have seen their funding and buildings completely eradicated under the Councils austerity measures, but whose activities benefit a far greater proportion of the local diverse community, than an niche elitist Independent Fee Paying School which does nothing to enhance the wider community.

I therefore urge all local residents and elected members to reject this planning application for the greater good of the Wembley Community as a whole, and stick to the origins of why it was created in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Wilhelmina Mitchell-Who?

Anonymous said...

The school is not accountable to the borough.... Unlike the state schools within the borough.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sam Stopp that Wembley lacks community spaces, it can feel a bit soleless at times and the pavilion would be a great space for the community to come together.