To: Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council
STOP THE DEMOLITION OF MARLBOROUGH SCHOOL, SW3 (Draycott & Sloane Avenue)
Don't tear down this beautiful Victorian school building. Planning assessments have shown that it would be possible to create the new school by working with the existing building instead of destroying it.
Why is this important?
BREAKING NEWS! The Department for Education have advised that NO application was made by the Council for disposal of school land. The School Assets Team has informed us that they have now written asking for an application to be made.
The original planning brief was to upgrade the existing school but now the council has approved plans to demolish it entirely and build offices and shops on a large part of the land.
These offices and shops will account for up to 75% of the additional m2 created (compared to 25% additional m2 for the school) and will generate revenue for the council.
The Architects Appraisal Panel has strongly advised against this use of the space.
The Victorian Society objected, as did Resident Associations and other campaigners spearheaded by Julian Lloyd Webber to have Marlborough listed, but the Council ignored them and granted planning permission anyway.
English Heritage, in their report, say that they received representations against listing Marlborough from both the local authority and the planning developers.
Julian Lloyd Webber said: "This is dreadful news. It will be a crying shame if this beautiful and historic building is demolished because the listing came too late. Once it's gone it's gone. It is a truly desperate situation and indeed a murky one as far as I'm concerned. When you have a company as big as John Lewis involved who already have a phenomenal amount of power in that area, my suspicions are raised. It shouldn't be about big business which prices everybody but the Russian Oligarchs out of South Kensington.
"The plans for the new school are completely out of character for the area. The existing Marlborough school building is beautiful and totally in keeping with the area. And what about the children? For four years, which is one child's whole primary school life, they will have to go to an interim school on the clearings site. This is far from ideal. It is a murky business."
James Hughes from the Victorian Society said: "In terms of an official response, I would express our deep disappointment at the outcome of the Committee discussion. The building is handsome, impressive and expresses the pride inherent in a structure that was intended to serve a public good. It has functioned adequately for over 130 years, and could very well continue to do so. The decision is short-sighted and one that in time will be regretted. It is a building which should be used and cherished and this part of London will be architecturally poorer and less interesting for its loss."
IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT JOHN LEWIS HAS ALREADY CASHED OUT OF THE CLEARINGS DEVELOPMENT, THIS HAS ALLEGEDLY BEEN BOUGHT BY MIKE ASHLEY.
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