Wanstead pool: Mother asks council not to demolish asbestos classroom during term time
PUBLISHED: 12:33 01 November 2018
An asbestos-ridden 1960s school building needs to be demolished to make way for the new Wanstead swimming pool.
The London Borough of Redbridge submitted a planning application to tear down a block at Wanstead High School, Redbridge Lane West, and erect a three-storey block with a basement, containing a pool, dance studio, new kitchen and a classroom.
Mother, Liz Canavan, asked the council not to tear down the block during school opening hours as it is “metres” from where her children and other pupils would be learning.
Speaking at a Redbridge Council planning meeting on October 31, she said: “I am not opposed to this application but I think stringent conditions should be attached.
“The 1960s building will have a significant asbestos content and demolition should be held when children are not a school.
“Having three children at the school while this is going on is incredibly stressful.”
A council officer said her comments were not a matter for the planning committee and would be better suited at a building regulations meeting.
“We have a construction demolition plan which mitigates management of dust on site,” she said.
“With these conditions in place, this will help safeguard.”
In a letter seen by the Recorder, council leader, Councillor Jas Athwal, wrote to Mrs Canavan prior to the meeting to put her “mind at ease”.
“As a matter of course, demolition works take place out of hours and that is especially relevant in a school environment,” he said.
“All tendering contractors provide a detailed method statement outlining how they intend to undertake the works and these are assessed against rigorous statutory and environmental criteria.
“In summary, whilst there is an obligation for planning colleagues to include conditions for managing demolition work and the potential for disruption on the school and residents, from a health and safety perspective that will already be addressed before any works commence
“The school and leisure centre will also receive copies of these beforehand to allay any concerns.”
Questions about the running cost of the pool were also raised.
A council worker explained that due to the size of the pool the monetary outlay should be manageable.
“It has a depth of 0.9metres to 1.5metres and Sports England class it as a community pool,” she said.
“It has significantly lower running costs.”
Nine councillors approved the demolition and one councillor abstained as he had publicly campaigned for the pool to be built.