Wembley residents fight plans to relocate Welsh school to nearby park
PUBLISHED: 10:47 09 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:12 09 February 2015
Residents in Wembley are fighting plans to place England’s only Welsh school in an unused bowling pavilion in a nearby park.
London Welsh School (Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain), in Shakespeare Avenue, Stonebridge, hopes to relocate to the building in King Edward VII Park in Park Lane, as they face losing their current home through redevelopment plans.
Under the proposals submitted to Brent Council the pavilion would have an extra storey built on it to accommodate staff and pupils and an adjoining land will also be altered.
Denise Cheong, chair of Friends of King Eddie’s Park (FKEP), told the Tomes the pavilion could be put to better use. She said: “It’s a flawed application putting the Welsh School in the park. Everybody needs an education but it is how you go about receiving it and where you get it.
“It’s a difficult one for us because we really need that community space so we hope the council will look at other options for them.”
The London Welsh School has 30 pupils aged from three to 11 and was first opened in Willesden in 1958 before moving to Stonebridge.
It is the only Welsh speaking school outside of Wales apart from Ysgol yr Hendre in Trelew in Patagonia, Argentina.
In October it was told to vacate its current premises by this summer under proposed plans to expand Stonebridge Primary School next door.
Cllr Sam Stopp, Labour councillor for Wembley Central, added: “While I am sympathetic to the cause of the London Welsh School, this is not a suitable site. While the application does not propose building on green space, the site is within the bounds of the park and approval of this scheme would set a dangerous precedent.
“With significant new towers due to be built around Wembley Stadium in the near future, preserving our green spaces is as vital as ever. Furthermore, Wembley is in dire need of more community hubs and the residents have expressed a willingness to turn the former bowl’s pavilion into one such space.”
A decision on the planning application was deferred last month after campaigners challenged the plans.
It is expected to be made on March 4.