City of London takes space at edge of a popular Hackney park to house one of its academy schools

© hackney council

THE CITY OF LONDON Corporation is to take a chunk of Hackney public space — with the approval of the council.

The ultra-rich City will use the land at the northeastern edge of Haggerston Park for a temporary school for up to 540 children. Four Portakabin storeys  will  be plopped on to 0.21 hectares (half an acre).

The land used to be part of the park and campaigners want it returned to the outdoor amenity, popular with sports players, dog-walkers, joggers and children.

Hpug: it is campaigning against Hackney council’s planning application to give the City corporation land next to Haggerston Park for a school 091016 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Land grab: this will soon be under City corporation control
However, Hackney council planning committee last night Wednesday 091116 voted to give the land to the City of London Academies Multi Academy Trust, which runs a primary school and five academies, all outside the Square Mile.citycrestsq

The City also supports three independent schools, including the £15,000-a-year City of London male and female private schools, both within its boundaries.

The site is used for storing items from the nearby BMX bike track and by volunteers who have planted an orchard. The council has promised they will be allocated space elsewhere, possibly in the park, but some park users worry that the promise may be forgotten.

An alternative plan for the site submitted by Haggerston Park User Group (Hpug) was dismissed by the planning committee.

Financial transactions over centuries have made the City wealthy, and secretive, although the corporation, its local council, has admitted to assets itself of more than £1 billion.

Hpug: Nick Rosen, centre, and other protesters against Hackney council’s planning application to give the City corporation land next to Haggerston Park for a school 091016 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Nick Rosen (front row) and other protesters at the planning committee meeting
Trust chief executive officer Mark Emmerson was asked why the City could not use some of the property it owns for the temporary building.

He told Loving Dalston there was a big demand in Hackney and other inner-city boroughs for school places. He added: “The City of London Academies is a charitable trust and it has governors from the [Hackney council-run] Learning Trust.”

Hpug3: it is campaigning against Hackney council’s planning application to give the City corporation land next to Haggerston Park for a school 091016 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Loved by locals: the site at the edge of Haggerston Pa: “We are open to public accountability.
Nick Rosen, of Hpug, said: “I don’t understand why the City of London corporation has to take space from the people of Hackney.”

David Altheer 101116

* Backstory: Council takes back control of education; Late bid to save a little-known Haggy pubHackney pulls plug on Haggy Baths hopes

* Lead pic © Hackney council. All other pictures on this page © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com, and all for sale for reproduction. Most photographs are available in bigger formats

Haggerston Park Hackney London E2 8QH 270214 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Spring thing: one of many fine Hackney parks, Haggerston shines around April

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