Gordonbrock School - Nightmares of Futures Past


When Brockley Central worked at The Football Association, many years ago, the organisation was involved with trying to rebuild Wembley Stadium. After years of work by architects, planners, bankers and lawyers, work looked set to begin.

Then, the Sports Minister Kate Hoey decided that she didn't like it because it wasn't optimised for athletics - all designs are compromise, and since athletics doesn't generally attract big crowds, sticking an athletics track around the pitch didn't make a lot of sense. She demanded a review, which delayed the project by about a year, during which time, groups came forward with "alternative designs" none of which was more than a drawing of a stadium and a dot on a map. These hypothetical alternatives attracted a great deal of public support because the people proposing them could promise anything. Half the cost! Ten thousand more seats! Loads more parking! A futuristic design!

The review concluded that the original plans were the right ones all along. Tens of millions of pounds were added to the cost of the project as a result of the lengthy delay.


Ute Michel has written a very comprehensive account of the meeting she attended about the future of Gordonbrock School yesterday.

Crucial passages include:

The Council is committed to the Gordonbrock project as planned and officers continue to work on it in light of the new circumstances and new timeframe... the whole planning process has to be completed again and the decant would be more likely to take place in December/January. If the legal challenge were to be withdrawn the decant could probably happen in time for September...

The delay also adds pressure on the Council's provision of primary places as Gordonbrock won't be able to go up to 3 form entry from September as would have been possible with the planned decant to Greenvale. This shortage is substantial in the whole borough and the Council has to take this into account when planning future provision of primary school places.