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Public meeting about plans for free school in Dollis Hill descends into chaos

PUBLISHED: 12:28 28 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:28 28 January 2014

A free school consultation last night descended into chaos as disgruntled residents sparked an uprising against controversial plans to build in Gladstone Park.

The consultation event about plans to build Gladstone School in Dollis Hill ended abruptly when former Labour councillor, Graham Durham, spearheaded a rebellion and chaired a counter meeting in opposition of the controversial plans in the same room.

Organisers also led parents to another room to learn the finer details on how the free school operates following continuous heckling by furious residents who have vowed to fight plans to build in the protected park.

Commenting on the spilt, Renee Dolan who is a governor at a local school said: “They [the public] have been deliberately denied justice.”

“And as William Gladstone once said justice delayed is justice denied,” said Bernard Fitzpatrick who won a Brent Community Champions Awards for his work with residents this year.

The visibly flustered founders of Gladstone School struggled to control some members of the public who defiantly refused to remain silent as emotions rode high.

One parent said: “I am a parent but I just do not want that school in that public area.”

As temperatures mounted members of the public turned on each other, with many pleading with hecklers for the school representative be allowed to put across their proposals.

Ray Watson, the school’s education adviser said: “It’s is difficult to explore the issues they want to raise in this kind of situation.”

“As you have seen, people have strong views. What triggered it tonight is the concern around Gladstone Park and we are not in a position to talk about alternative sites.”

The school launched a public consultation in an effort to allay and address concerns over proposals to build on former playing field of the William Gladstone Secondary School, demolished in 1998 for housing.

A planning application has not yet been submitted to Brent Council.


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