Work on the Nishkam School started on Friday 28 October with clearing of some trees and bushes from the boundary of the site.
We had not been informed of this, and it was only when a local resident spotted diggers on the site and made enquiries that we got a short e-mail from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to say work had commenced and that BAM Construction would be starting on site on 14th November.
We are now in touch with Hounslow Council and the EFA to set up meetings with the construction company to ensure that the work is carried out in a way that causes the least disruption to local residents and that there are agreed protocols about the work (e.g. start/finish times, dust/dirt/mud reduction, lorry routes, noise and lighting levels and much else) before the work begins in earnest.
As soon as we have more details we will post them here, including a phone number and e-mail address to contact if there is any disruption due to the building works.
Residents should be aware that the EFA has signed an agreement about how the work will proceed and how residents should be informed. You can read it here. If you think the developer is in breach of any of these items then please let us know.
GRASSHOPPERS PLANNING APPLICATION
The Grasshoppers application will be heard by the Planning Committee on Thursday 3rd November at 7.30 pm at Hounslow Council. You are welcome to attend the meeting.
Previous front page reporting the result of the Judicial Review
It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that we have decided not to proceed further with the appeal against the Judicial Review Ruling which found in favour of the Nishkam School. We feel that we have exhausted every channel of opposition to the decision to use the White Lodge site to build a school for 1400 children.
We remain convinced that the decision to do so was wrong in purely planning terms and was one that demonstrated scant regard for the official policy of protecting Metropolitan Open Land. We have had to accept however that, given the means available to a residents’ group such as ours, we would not have a realistic chance of winning against the powerful forces ranged against us.
Politics and big money were stacked against us and we feel played a big part in the outcome of this campaign.
Essentially we have been up against the establishment: a local authority and three government agencies determined to see this project through. In other words organisations which supposedly represent us in local and national government have been determined to get their way despite the clear opposition of residents and despite the very powerful case against the development that we produced. We did not lose on merit. We took on very powerful interests. In this instance they proved too much for us. There are many lessons to be learned from this, but one of them is not that we should give up on standing up for the things we believe to be right.
It was a very difficult decision to make, to stop the campaign, and we are extremely grateful for your moral and financial support over the last 15 months. We mounted a fair, ethical and professional campaign against the combined guns of the London Borough of Hounslow, the Education Funding Agency and Nishkam School Trust. We lost but we can hold our heads up high.
Nishkam has taken over some of our lives over the last 15 months, and we now need to start on the huge amount of work we have to do to rejuvenate OWGRA (Osterley and Wyke Green Residents’ Association), so that’s what we need to turn our efforts to now. We hope the community spirit that has developed as a result of this campaign can be put to good effect in making OWGRA an effective and proactive residents’ association.
We have learned a great deal about local government, central government and the planning system during this course of this campaign. It is now important that we put that to good use in working to protect our area from inappropriate development.
In addition a residents group can and should provide many different ways for residents to come together, share views, meet socially and in general make the area a lively place. We want to see a new OWGRA doing those things and we trust that you do too.
We will be sending out a newsletter in the near future with our plans for OWGRA and the local community.