Peninsula finally gets school, but doubts linger

PUBLISHED: 10:22 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 17:36 25 August 2010

NEW COMMUNITY: Greenwich Peninsula.

NEW COMMUNITY: Greenwich Peninsula.

A SCHOOL is being moved to a controversial site next to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach.

A SCHOOL is being moved to a controversial site next to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach.

The governing body of Blackheath Bluecoat Church of England School has unanimously agreed to a move to a planned multi-million pound, four-storey building on the Greenwich Peninsula, off Millennium Way.

This is the same site that was snubbed by governors at John Roan School, in Maze Hill, Westcombe, after several parents and teachers opposed the move.

But governors of the Bluecoat School, founded in Greenwich in 1700, approved the move only on the grounds that a nearby gas holder was decommissioned or moved.

However, worries still remain that the site is too small and has poor air quality, meaning that classrooms will have to be fitted with air filters.

Council opposition leader Spencer Drury said: "It seems to have all the same problems as the John Roan School had.

"The council seem dead set on having a school on the peninsula as there will be a new community there, which I totally agree with. But the site is too small." Father-of-three Andrew Steeds, from Greenwich, who has two children at John Roan School, said: "I have spoken to a couple of people who say 'great - here we go again'. The council are trying to solve the problems with one fell swoop. It is down to Blackheath Bluecoat to make their own decision.

"From our point of view it still seems to be an inappropriate site for a school.

"I imagine it will split parents as it split parents at John Roan. The governing body decided not to move to the peninsula but re-build on two sites - Westcombe Park and Maze Hill."

Chair of governors at Blackheath Bluecoat David Prescott said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to provide a first-class, secondary school specialising in maths and computing on the peninsula and we're absolutely delighted that staff, pupils and parents are fully behind the move.

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