PLANS to build a large school on a sports ground in Leyton have provoked furious opposition from residents and teachers.
The council is currently consulting on plans to merge George Mitchell Secondary School, Norlington School for Boys and Beaumont Primary to create a school trust under the Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF).
The new school, dubbed a “learning and leisure campus”, will be built on land at the Leyton Youth Centre, in High Road, as well as on the current George Mitchell site in Farmer Road.
The council’s application to change the use of the land has alarmed residents, who believe it will be impossible to site a 1,700 pupil school on the site without there being a significant loss of green space on the adjoining cricket ground – although the council has insisted that only a “minimal” amount of space will have to be sacrificed.
Lin Walton, of Forest Drive East, Leytonstone, said: “This is the old county ground site, a wonderful green oasis in Leyton which could soon be lost to building work.”
Gill Pearson, of nearby Brewster Road, said: “I don’t see how the plans will to fit on the site, a building of that size is likely to go the whole length of the park, we don’t want a building of that size on green space.”
Rinaldo Frezzato, NUT division secretary, said teachers were concerned about the potential loss of a “public amenity” if the plans are given the go- ahead.
A council spokesman said the authority owns the whole of the cricket ground site, despite claims from some campaigners that part of the land may belong to trustees.
With regards to how much green space will be lost, the council spokesman said: “It is too early to say, as design work has not yet started, but a feasibility study sketch shows the new building having a footprint of 0.875 acres.”