Headteacher attacks proposals for new concrete plant 250m from school

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 June 2019

Dr Lawrence Foley, Bobby Moore Academy

Dr Lawrence Foley, Bobby Moore Academy

Bobby Moore Academy

The executive head of the Bobby Moore Academy has slammed a proposal to build a new concrete plant 250 metres away from their site in the Olympic Park.

The joint venture by three construction companies Breedon, Brett and S Walsh & Sons for Bow Goods Yard East also includes a rail terminal to transfer materials.

But Dr Lawrence Foley is opposing the plans for the site just off Marshgate Lane, saying it will increase in the number of heavy vehicles in the area which would cause air quality concerns for pupils.

He said: "This is the Olympic legacy, this is the Olympic site, and we're building a concrete plant on it.

"We want to lobby whoever it is that makes the decisions to try to re-designate the land, because I don't think it's acceptable for that piece of land to be used for what it's used for next door to a school."

Adding that he wants the site to be turned into affordable housing, he said: "As somebody who grew up in this borough and who cannot afford to buy a house in this borough, and I'm a head teacher, what does that mean for other local residents?

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"We want it to be housing, potentially another school, something that can serve the local community in a way that is meaningful."

The site is designated as a Strategic Industrial Location in the London Plan which means London's mayor Sadiq Khan would have to re-designate the area.

A petition urging for this to be done has attracted more than 2,500 signatures and has gained the support of Unmesh Desai who is the London Assembly member for City and East.

The mayor of London's office declined to comment, saying it had to remain impartial in ongoing planning proceedings.

The Bow East joint venture said in a statement that the proposal is "smaller, cleaner and smarter" than current activities.

"Rail freight produces 76 per cent lower emissions than road transport, so using Bow East actually helps to reduce overall emissions from construction traffic, in line with government targets.

"There are very few rail freight sidings in central London, with no openings for new ones, so good use has to be made of the locations available."

A proposal for an asphalt plant on the site was rejected in 2018.

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