There have been many lies told about how MISARA responded to the demolition of the Marlborough Primary School.
This extract from the Annual MISARA Report sets out the unequivocal position of this important resident association.
Contrary to what the Council might like to believe MISARA did object.....not one member of the Major Planning Development Committee responded...par for the course!
"In mid 2015 a campaign was launched to stop the impending demolition, supported by many of our members. The Victorian Society, which in 2013 had unsuccessfully applied to English Heritage for the building to be listed, wrote: “The building is handsome, impressive and expresses the pride inherent in a structure that was intended to serve a public good. It has functioned adequately for over 130 years, and could very well continue to do so. The decision [to demolish] is short-sighted and one that in time will be regretted. It is a building which should be used and cherished and this part of London will be architecturally poorer and less interesting for its loss."
The campaign culminated in the presentation of a petition to the Council meeting on 14 October 2015, calling for the building to be saved.
The officers’ report noted that MISARA had not commented on the planning application at the time either for or against.
This is correct, but does not tell the full story.......
During our discussions with John Lewis and their architects Dixon Jones we were told that demolition of the school was necessary to expand it from one to two forms of entry, and that preservation of the façade would not be feasible.
On 4 March 2013 we wrote to all 12 councillors on the Major Planning Development Committee asking them not to approve demolition of the façade unless satisfied that it was absolutely necessary. None of the councillors replied. So we were surprised to hear in August of this year, for the first time, that the Council had approved and had begun to implement a plan to expand the school to two forms of entry within the existing building back in 2011, well before the deal with John Lewis.
It is some consolation to know that the new school building will have greatly improved facilities.
But the demolition of a fine Victorian building is a sad event, and diminishes us all."