Camden’s controversial sale of potential free school buildings delayed

The controversial sale of two hostels that parents want to turn into a Belsize Park free school has been delayed.

Camden Council decided to sell the two adjoining hostels in Fitzjohn’s Avenue and Maresfield Gardens just weeks before the Department for Education (DfE) was due to decide whether to award funding to the proposed free school.

Parent Harriet Nowell-Smith told the Ham&High it was “irresponsible of the council not to wait three weeks to hear what the DfE decides”.

She joined the Belsize Free School campaign after her three-year-old daughter was refused a nursery place at Fitzjohn’s Primary.

But the dramatic change of decision will ensure the buildings remain in the hands of the council until the Department for Education funding decision is taken.

Town hall chiefs had argued the hostel sale would benefit the community as money made would be ploughed back into the borough’s schools and housing.

A meeting to discuss the sale will take place at Camden town hall this Friday (September 30).