New temporary classrooms for school affected by aborted relocation plans (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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New temporary classrooms for St Mary's Primary School in Walthamstow which has been affected by aborted relocation plans
Temporary classrooms are set to be built at a school after plans to relocate to a new site were aborted when asbestos was discovered.
Staff and pupils at St Mary's Primary School in The Drive, Walthamstow, had been due to move to the former Warwick School for Boys site in Brooke Road, in September 2012, but the plans were put on hold due to concerns about the toxic fibre.
Ever since some pupils have been sent via buses to the former Edinburgh Primary School site instead, while the remaining children have continued their education at The Drive.
Tomorrow (Tuesday January 8) councillors on the council's planning committee will decide on an application by the authority to install four temporary classrooms at The Drive site in two single storey buildings.
Council officers have recommended the plans be approved because they "would not have a significant detrimental impact".
The planning application states that the temporary classrooms would be in place until September 2013 at the latest.
The council's handling of the relocation has been severely criticised, with 200 parents signing a petition saying they had no faith in the authority.
It emerged that a report which warned of the possibility of asbestos at the site may not have been read prior to the start of building works, and that subsequent maintenance to manage the toxic fibre were carried out without the council putting contracts 'out to tender' to ensure best value for taxpayers' money.
Last year campaigner Nick Tiratsoo also called on Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy to demand a public inquiry, but she did not respond to the Guardian's request to comment.
It emerged last November that the council was planning to launch a new investigation into whether any children had been harmed by exposure to asbestos at the site.
Three classes and 18 staff from St Mary's had already moved to Brooke Road in September 2011 ahead of the rest of the school, but the council previously said there was no evidence to suggest their health had been put at risk.
The council still intends on relocating St Mary's to Brooke Road but a date for this is yet to be announced.
The site in The Drive had been due to be taken over by Christian group the Emmanuel School Trust in September 2012.
The group has had to locate its planned free school in Erskine Road, Walthamstow, while it waits for the site at The Drive to become available.
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