New Malden councillor stops school contractor after residents' complaints
Angry neighbours stopped contractors breaching planning conditions when they tried to work later than agreed in a bid to finish building a temporary school in time for the new term.
The builders are decanting Christ Church Junior School into seven temporary classrooms on playing fields behind Mount Road in New Malden while the school is rebuilt over the next year.
Despite rules restricting the hours of work, residents reported contractors working late and received letters that building would continue over the bank holiday weekend to finish work.
Councillor Lynne Finnerty managed to stop the work going ahead after a barrage of complaints from residents, who she said had suffered a series of problems from the construction.
She said: “There has been a catalogue of errors and incompetence since works started.
“The residents really did need to have some peace and quiet. That’s why you have conditions on applications.
“I would say there’s hardly a day gone by when someone hasn’t complained about one thing or another.
“It’s been a sorry saga from beginning to end.”
Coun Finnerty said construction vehicles had been seen going the wrong way down one-way roads, residents have had blocked access and a generator was put in someone’s garden.
The controversial move from Elm Road to the site next to Corpus Christi Primary School met fierce opposition from residents and some councillors, who cited fears over safety, access and traffic.
Plans were fast-tracked and a public consultation cut short to try to secure a fully operational site for the school by September, but councillors stalled the move when they failed to make a decision in March.
The move will free up the junior school site and allow for a rebuild on the Church of England school, which was declared dangerous after wooden support beams were severely affected by damp in November last year.