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Free school campaigners make last-ditch bid for Hampstead police station

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 July 2013

Abacus Belsize campaigner Linda Grove. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Abacus Belsize campaigner Linda Grove. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Campaigners have launched a desperate last-ditch attempt to persuade Boris Johnson to open a free school in Hampstead police station.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson.Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Supporters of Abacus Belsize Primary School, set to open in September, have started a petition calling on the London Mayor to halt plans to sell the historic station to private developers.

They claim that City Hall had originally agreed not to put the station on the market until September but were then shocked to find the historic building on sale with estate agent Knight Frank last month.

It is believed developers have until Monday to put in final bids for the police station in Rosslyn Hill – prompting a scramble from the Department for Education (DfE) to put together a bid for the Abacus Belsize free school.

Linda Grove, a member of the Abacus Belsize campaign group, said: “The DfE will put in a sealed bid for the police station for the whole plot [but will also be] open to a joint venture with a developer too.”

Mrs Grove will be taking to the streets in coming days to collect signatures for the petition calling on the mayor to find a way of accommodating the school in the police station.

The station was vacated by police last month ahead of the sell-off.

She said: “I think it’s a bit like Custer’s Last Stand – we’ve got nothing to lose! It’s big enough to have two organisations in there and a cop shop.

“We are happy to share the site with the developer while keeping a police presence as well.”

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