Editorial comment: Trade-off needed for Abacus
- Credit: Archant
It’s an equation that even the best and brightest minds would struggle to come up with an answer for.
Take a school, add it into a police station, while dividing the feeling of Hampstead residents and Abacus parents. Even with my maths GCSE, I'm struggling to find a solution.
From talking to all sides in the last week, it's clear that there isn't a solution where everyone will walk away completely happy.
The Department for Education (DfE) along with the school and its trust has come too far over the last six years not to appeal. But by the time that is decided, lodged and heard we'll be another year down the line. Add in an inevitable legal challenge from residents and it feels a lot like the original pupils at Abacus won't be far off having their own children by the time its resolved.
Something has got to give. There is a feeling from neighbours in Downshire Hill that the school has not been open enough and compromised as much as is necessary. Meanwhile parents and the school think that they are being victimised and that an anti-free schools sentiment is at play.
You may also want to watch:
What we did see at last week's meeting was that assiduous questioning from the committee showed that concerns about air pollution, traffic, noise and heritage are more than valid.
But will any development ever meet this criteria? Most proposals, whether a museum, mixed development with housing or anything else will generate more traffic than a closed police station, or a rather sleepy one as it spent its later years. The DfE spent a hefty sum acquiring it in the first place, who is going to buy it for similar money and spend more to do it up?
- 1 Women attacked by wrench-wielding man in Hampstead
- 2 Camden residents offered symptom-free Covid testing
- 3 Haverstock Hill cycle lanes order scrapped by Camden Council
- 4 Buyers claim luxury flats are 'nightmare' construction site
- 5 South Hampstead neighbours mourn tree felled by Storm Christoph
- 6 Every single critical care bed full at hospitals
- 7 'Big victory,' says man behind Haverstock Hill cycle lanes legal challenge
- 8 Crouch End's 'Paul the Paper' bids farewell to Broadway stall
- 9 Westminster Council shelves Paddington Rec cycling plans
- 10 Plans for council homes to replace Highgate car wash
Both sides are in a stalemate and I suspect are looking to the judicial system to ultimately prove their arguments. Yet whatever happens will leave one side disappointed.
Before then, everyone needs to get back around the table for one last go, and be prepared for both sides to compromise.