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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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