Patterson Park & Open Spaces (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Thank you for that answer. The more we looked at this the more concerned we have become because it does look as if the Department of Education actually sent that letter to you in ignorance of the Kennedy report which clearly says that the Canada Water site is actually a better site. Is it possible for you to go back to the Department of Education and actually ask them on what basis they wrote that letter to you. I am concerned that the Corporation of London itself knew that the Canada Water site was perfectly acceptable. They stood up in a committee meeting on 16 January 2002 at Southwark Council and actually said the site was suitable. So I am concerned that you have taken the wrong decision on poor information, or inaccurate information, given to the Department of Education. Is it possible for you to chase that up?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Patterson Park & Open Spaces (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Patterson Park & Open Spaces (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

We can look into it. I am assuming what has happened here is that the Canada Water site is ruled out by the Government because of this thing about no school can be more than two storeys and so on. That means you take a lot of space. I assume that's the core of the problem and therefore, within the existing government rules, I am no doubt going to be told, "Yes, that is right, that wasn"t a suitable site'.

Can I just correct my earlier statement, it is not 1,300 new schools, it is 130 new schools, so make sure that is in the record. If we can't change that and 130 new schools are each going to be built to the density of the Patterson Park site, it is going to be devastating for London's open spaces. I am happy to go back and ask the Government about that but I think that is going to be their answer.

Can I say, when I was informed before my planning meeting that Southwark was withholding the Kennedy Report, I made it absolutely clear to Southwark Labour Councillors, at that stage, that it would be unlikely that I could do anything other than direct refusal if vital planning information was being withheld from my officers. I think that was a factor in ensuring that the report finally arrived before we had to decide.