Fairlawn Park Planning Appeal Group - OLSPN planning inquiry

Hi all,

The OLSPN school redevelopment has taken a difficult path, and the Archdiocese has applied for a full planning inquiry, which will take some time to complete.

If you object to the Archdiocese’s plan to make minimal changes to the current design, then join the Fairlawn Park Planning Appeal Group. We can press for the promised build quality and environmental improvements are met. This includes green space within the school and works to Home Park, which were conditions of development.

If you want to be involved, and kept updated as to progress, please email


You don’t have to take on any personal responsibility if you don’t have time, but we can keep you updated. Being signed up as a group also strengthens our position at the inquiry.

Residents of neighbouring streets are more than welcome; please don’t be put off by the name. I had to call it something…

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As I understand it, the current hold-ups are causing the lack of green space at the school! The builders can’t finish the rooftop play area or do any green playground works while the build is being challenged. I live nextdoor to the school and I am in support of the appeal by the Archdiocese. I want to see the school finished now for the sake of the children whose education as already been unnecessarily disrupted for far too long by these local rows over petty issues like opening or closing windows. It would be great to hear from other local people who feel the same way.

I’m another Fairlawn neighbour who backs onto the playground. I am fed up with the delays. Looking at an unfinished school and playground is starting to get me down. I want the children to have a useful, lovely space to learn and play in. I do not think replacing windows will make a difference and I’d prefer them to be able to open. I don’t like to think of children being blasted with used air. I really hope that the objectors refrain from putting posters everywhere again. What would you like to see happen? Do you want parts of the building to be pulled down and therefore further disrupt children’s education? There are quite a few children in Fairlawn that go to this school now, I find this arguing leaves a sour taste in the community. If you are asking others to join your group from far and wide, you’ll have people that don’t even look at the school surely.

You make a fair point about asking people to join who aren’t on Fairlawn. It seems a little deceptive create a group name like that and then ask anyone to join even if they are not a near resident on Fairlawn.

Absolutely everybody wants the school finished, and to give the children the school they deserve. The delays are because the developers won’t respond to council officers, and have stopped work. So many months of holidays and shutdown, and nothing has been done. Lewisham Council has let us down badly, as the main issue was reported to them in 2017. Had they acted then, it could have been swiftly sorted out with minimal problems.

It is important that equally close neighbours such as residents of the Explorer House flats opposite on Sydenham Road can also join. They are at least as badly affected as FP residents, and need to have a chance to have a say. The group is for immediate neighbours of the school who wish to see a better school building, and the environment the pupils deserve.

Finishing the school would not end the disruption. Lewisham is scheduled to start work on a block of flats on Winchfield Road, immediately behind FP. Site traffic, noise, dust and disruption will be with us for a couple of years. If we can’t trust that they will stick to the planning rules, then FP will be in for a bad time.

I do not disagree that there have been issues and mistakes in all sides. But, to be clear, the work has ceased currently because of objections to the existing build.These objections have been largely motivated by i) politcal optics for some and ii) visual appearance for others, and are not necessarily representative of many of us in the local community or the parents at the school. The builders have been forced to stop work. I also really don’t think you should conflate this build and the disruptions with the planned flats on Winchfield. This is about disruption to the children’s education should the builders be forced to do significant changes to the windows or other areas of the building that will hold up finishing the outdoor areas which the children so badly want and need.

I’m pleased you are keeping your group to immediate neighbours. I spoke to some objectors at previous public meetings who lived at the other end of Sydenham. I totally agree with you that the blame lies primarily with Lewisham not monitoring the build correctly, but we need to look at the present and the future now. The building is there. At the end if the day it will be the pupils that suffer if there are further delays. A lot of “fake news” gets spun at these public meetings and I don’t think we need to go into details. I would hate for the community to come to blows over this. I would like everyone to stick to the facts this time.

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Have you read through the planning documents? That is how you know what is true. Accusations like saying objectors don’t want opening windows is fake news.

I think I’m just going to stop writing on here. You bringing up religion, someone else calling a school a prison has made me a bit sad and I don’t want it all to get ugly. Good night, sleep well.

Close neighbours of OLSPN school who are interested in getting improvements made, email fairlawnparkplanning@gmail.com

We can participate in the Archdiocese’s appeal to the planning inspectorate, and have a say in the outcome.