The Conservatives are being disingenuous over Pavilion Way.

Why have they offered places in Burnt Oak primarily to children from Colindale (where the demand for places is) in a school that has not been built, which has yet to get planning approval, and on land over which there remains a covenant for the benefit of local people against building on it? The site, including a full-size football pitch, was transferred to the council for just £1, with the covenant requiring the land to be used for sports for local people and maintained as such by the council.

Despite the council’s best endeavours to create a self-fulfilling prophesy through its deliberately woeful neglect of the site in breach of its legal obligations, the local kids have not played ball with the council, by playing ball on the pitch. Local children regularly and frequently use the site, having themselves kept it usable.

The local community also worked with sports bodies to develop a plan to bring the facility into full repair. This showed they needed a sufficiently long lease to secure the grants that were available, but the council refused to grant this lease, thereby denying the community access to this funding.

The school would also contribute to traffic congestion. At peak hours, Deansbrook Road is already heavily congested. Extra school traffic will extend the existing tailbacks as it is inevitable that there will be a significant increase in cars bringing children to school. The Conservatives may expect four and five-year-old children to walk two miles or more there and back every day whatever the weather, but their parents won’t.

The council’s own ecology report also makes clear that clearance work should not take place between the bird breeding months of March and September, and if the scheme were to be approved it should be subject to a planning condition accordingly, so the school couldn’t be built in time for this autumn anyway.

Andrew Dismore

London Assembly member and Pavilion Way resident