I attended the meeting of the Save Stanley Road Playing Fields group last Wednesday at the Holy Trinity School.
I was glad that there was a lot of strong support for the fields. I tink there has been some confusion about the best way of showing that, but there is now greater clarity.
The Archer Academy have bought the fields and will be hosing the junior years there (when built) as well as investing in the ground to provide sports facilities, that will be available to the public. Whilst I can't comment on the plans themselves, as a member of the planning committee, I can support the general principals. "I like the idea of using a Tory policy to make a school any good socialist would like to send their kids to!" as one resident told me!
Many also believe the school provides the best future for the fields, because we will get the much needed funding to create the sports facilities, and have an organisation which will maintain them for the long term future. It's also worth noting the backers and sponsors of the Archer Academy are locals, with strong support for the fields. Sport East Finchley say they would not be involved if they didn't feel the school would retain the fields for community use outside school hours, and they are busy writing the covenant that says so, as well as it being a condition of the sale of the land in the first place.
As I say, I won't comment on any aspect of a planning application that may be considered on the planning committee, but I am happy to state my opinions on two important issues for my ward. I also believe that Sport East Finchley will be dedicated to ensuring that the School stick to the agreements, if they were ever minded to demur.
One interesting aspect of the discussion was the angry reaction to the Archer newspaper for East Finchley. Their previous front page has been interpreted as an attack on the school, and it is rather odd they claimed it was hot off the press when they printed it, given it was in the Council papers printed 10 days before, and the Archer Academy say they sent a load of information beforehand as well. They seem to have incurred the wrath of many for their reporting, and the next edition will be interesting. I have to say, I find it frustrating when they only mention you in passing on their article about the closure of the Post Office, and don't carry a link to my petition.