Westminster Conservatives have rejected plans to locate Marylebone Boys School on an empty Council-owned site in Moxon Street and instead have agreed to sell the land to Ridgeford Properties and Concord Pacific for a £250m development of luxury apartments. Marylebone Boys School is a Free School led by local parents which has Department for Education backing and support from the Mayor of London.
The Moxon Street site has long been earmarked for a school and was compulsorily purchased by the ILEA from the Howard de Walden Estate in 1966 in order to develop a new school. When the ILEA was abolished in 1990 the land was transferred to Westminster. Under the terms of the transfer, if the land was sold within 21 years the proceeds of the sale had to be shared between the 12 former ILEA boroughs. In 2011 Westminster declared the school site surplus and started the sales process.
In September Laura Royde, Lead Proposer Marylebone Boys’ School told Councillors; “We are a secondary boys’ Free School due to open in September 2014 and we are urgently seeking a site in Central/North Westminster. We have an extremely high level of parental interest and support. “
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“Westminster Conservatives have betrayed local parents by selling this land for luxury apartments. The last thing Marylebone needs is more luxury flats. The use of this land goes to the heart of the future of the West End. Residents want good community facilities, such as good local schools. The land should be used for the benefit of the community for a school, affordable homes and other essential facilities.”
“Westminster Tories say they support Free Schools but when it comes down to it they would rather have more luxury housing at Moxon Street than more school places for local young people.”