Arena academy public meeting: Oct 16

The latest version of Croydon Council’s plans to build on a(nother) piece of “protected” Metropolitan Open Land – in this case the scheme for a secondary school alongside the Croydon Arena – is to be discussed at a public meeting next week.

All change? After extending its consultation period for its Arena Acadmey proposals, a different solution has been found

All change? After extending its consultation period for its Arena Academy proposals, a different solution has been found

A solution appears to have been found which avoids damaging development on parkland, but more detail is likely to emerge at the meeting.

The meeting is open to all, and will be held from 7.30pm on Wednesday, October 16, at the United Reform Church Hall, Cobden Road, SE25 5NX.

A message from the local residents’ group, People for Portland Road, says, “As you will probably be aware, Croydon Council are proposing to build a new secondary school in the Arena area off Albert Road. This would accommodate over 1200 students and would incorporate the existing sports grounds and neighbouring areas of the Country Park.

“Of course many local residents are very concerned about the potential impact this would have on the local neighbourhood. There is undoubtedly a massive shortage of school places for children throughout London and beyond. The crisis in Croydon is one of worst in whole country with many thousands of new school places needed urgently.

“Here in South Norwood we already face the situation where the two local secondary schools will be so oversubscribed that children in this area will really struggle to get into them and will be left having to travel for miles to find a place.

“However, there are serious concerns about the impact that a new school could have on the neighbourhood. The situation is therefore not straightforward, and there are no simple answers.

“Whether or not the school will now be built will be determined by whether or not it gets planning permission. A decision is not expected until May next year just after the Council elections.

“The Council had originally proposed building the new secondary school on two sites – the Arena and the closed down adult education centre on Sandown Road. To avoid being sandwiched between the two halves of the new school Ryelands Primary School is now considering moving to Sandown Road instead. This idea would allow the new school to replace the existing Ryelands school, avoiding having to build on the protected Metropolitan Open Land on the Country Park.”

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