Residents Angered Over New School Site

The clearance of a site for a proposed new school has angered Beckenham residents.

Work to clear the site on Balmoral Avenue began last despite the fact that E21C, the trust behind Beckenham Academy, not yet having been granted planning permission for the school.

Bromley Council is anticipating a significant increase in demand for school places in the borough by 2020, and the aim of the proposed academy is to ease this pressure.

However, people living in the vicinity have reacted angrily to work commencing with the future of the land, previously owned by The Co-operative, undecided.

The land, described by West Beckenham Resident’s Association as having been “a much loved recreational resource” for over 20 years, has now been cleared by bulldozers and cranes.

Balmoral Avenue resident Eddie Seymour said: “It all seems very shady, why would they spend millions if there was a chance of not being able to build on the site?”

E21C Chair of Education Nick Vincent and CEO Paul Murphy said no agreement was in place regarding planning permission, but that work to clear the overgrown site was necessary in order to carry out detailed topographical surveys needed for the planning application.

Residents of Balmoral Avenue have raised a number of issues with the proposed academy, including increased traffic, public transport being unable to handle higher demand and damage to wildlife. A petition has been started by the No Academy in Balmoral Avenue group objecting to the school from being built.

What do you think of the plans? How else can the council meet demand for school places?

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