Wimbledon campaigners condemn ‘carte blanche’ primary school expansion on Dundonald Recreation Ground

Wimbledon campaigners who lost a three-year legal battle to save Dundonald Rec from a primary school expansion are ‘bitterly disappointed’ by the court’s decision.

Merton Council was given the green light to proceed with the extension of Dundonald Primary School when the Court of Appeal dismissed the last remaining legal challenge.

This means that groups such as Dundonald Rec Tennis Club (DRTC) and King’s Road Cricket and Social Club will have to find an alternative place to play.

DRTC chairman Dr Ernesto Pinto said: “We will no longer have anywhere to play which is bitterly disappointing.

“It’s worrying to think that councils up and down the country will now think they have carte blanche to follow suit.”

The decision to allow building work to start comes after a lengthy judicial process which has led to delays in enabling the school, rated outstanding by Ofsted, to open its doors to 30 more children per year living close by.

Extra classrooms, a new hall, a replacement pavilion, three new tennis courts and a new public children’s play area will be built on the site.

Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Martin Whelton said: “We are delighted with the judge’s decision to allow us to provide more school places at the outstanding Dundonald School.

“We were only able to offer places to pupils living within 106 metres of the school this year.

“We will now be able to make sure many more children will be able to have a great start to their education at one of our best schools.

“We hope for work to start shortly and will keep residents in the surrounding roads and parents up to date on what is happening with regards to the works.

“I welcome the expansion and look forward to seeing the opening of the new school and community facilities in the months to come.”

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