Wednesday 31 January 2018

Harrow School defeated for second time by protectors of open green space

Illustration: Harrow Hill Trust
Following their defeat over proposed public footpath changes LINK Harrow School yesterday received a second blow when London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has rejected plans for a new school sports facility which would have been built on protected green space.

Sadiq Khan made it clear he supports the expansion of Harrow School’s sporting facilities and would welcome the greater access offered to the local community – but that it should not come at the expense of protecting open, green spaces, particularly when alternative options are available.

The plans included construction of a 7,300 sq m sports block – of which 4,600 sq m would have built on designated Metropolitan Open Land, which is largely undeveloped.

The Mayor's new London Plan, which was published for consultation at the end of last year, affords the same protection to Metropolitan Open Land as that given to the Green Belt.

In rejecting the application, the Mayor invited Harrow School to work with his planning team to develop a new application for a sports hall on the footprint of its existing site.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
Since becoming Mayor I have been clear that protecting London’s precious green spaces is one of my top priorities.

I absolutely support the school’s ambitions to expand its sporting facilities, and their plans to open them up to the local community for the benefit of people of all ages are to be commended.

However, I’m clear that expansion of this kind must not encroach on open green space, which is one of the capital’s most important and cherished assets. Nor, in this case, is it necessary to do so, as other options are available.

I hope the school will rethink its plans and come up with a scheme which allows them to provide a new facility for their pupils and the community without harming the area’s precious green spaces.

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