Published: 8 June, 2012
• ON Tuesday, Islington Council’s executive committee is to consider the planning brief for the present Ashmount School site, which effectively calls for it to be redeveloped as housing.
The council has previously acknowledged English Heritage’s statement that it “strongly supports the repair and re-use” of the locally-listed existing building.
The report of the council’s executive member for children and young people to the executive on January 17, 2008, itself stated that “A recent specialist study… has demonstrated that the school buildings have architectural interest and it would be difficult to make a case for demolition... the conclusion is that since the existing school cannot be demolished… the school must be relocated off-site”.
But instructions to tenderers for the site recently issued by the council state: “The site is locally listed, therefore the Draft Planning Brief has considered the feasibility of retaining and re-using the existing school buildings. It concludes that a compelling case can be made for their replacement, delivering much-needed housing in this part of the Borough”.
In other words – use the supposed architectural value as an argument to build a new school (on metropolitan open land) nearby, then dismiss that value in order to get permission to demolish it for housing.
The outcome would seem to be: lost – one historic school, its playground, metropolitan open land; gained – some more housing.