Camden puts free primary building on sale

Campaigners for a new free school in Fitzjohn’s Avenue have accused Camden’s finance boss of being “short sighted” after the council put buildings they wanted to use for a primary school up for sale on the open market.

Campaigners for a new free school in NW3 have been lobbying Camden Council for two years for a new secular primary to combat a shortage of school places in the area.

They recently applied to the Department for Education to open a free school in the former hostel buildings. But they will not know until September whether their application has been successful and the closing date for bids on the buildings – which have a guide price of �6m – is July 8.

Former deputy head and Belsize Lane resident Linda Grove attended a full council meeting on Monday.

She said: “It is very short sighted of councillor Theo Blackwell and his fellow Labour councillors not to wait a few weeks more for this long-awaited and needed school decision. Camden would receive the market price for the building from the government and a school, which would solve both of Camden’s problems.”

You may also want to watch:

However, Cllr Blackwell told the chamber that the council had to sell the buildings to help plug a �400m shortfall in the capital budget.

He said: “The grounds for withdrawing BSF money was that the DfE simply did not have the money to proceed with the programme. I would find it strange if they emerged with up to �8m for a small individual project.”

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter