IMAG0433At the weekend I made a trip with the children to the London Aquarium which you might think has little relevance to Wye.

But the persistent mentions of ‘over 600 species of fish’ must have triggered something in my brain, and, standing in lengthy queues to get through narrow entrances in the County Hall basement, I got to thinking about inappropriate uses of Grade 2 listed buildings.

How can I put it? The fish feel a bit of an after-thought? A bit wedged in?

They, at least, may appreciate the dark and the fairly spacious tanks but for the visitor the experience is rather more unsatisfactory. The crowd, blotched with crying babies and toddlers, is clueless as to where it is heading. The signs are unreadable. The staff do their best to jolly everyone along – but that’s practically impossible in a converted basement when the majority of the audience doesn’t speak English.

Back in Wye, we are now looking at a possible conversion of a Grade 2 listed building and may possibly be filling it with over 600 species of children.

Possibly, the Education Funding Agency has looked at the structure and feels that we may be heading down the route of County Hall – wedging our children into an inappropriate space, when they have insufficient room to play, escape, breathe.

Or the school committee could effect a highly successful conversion? With the added bonus that the buildings have character, history and could provide inspiration to everyone being taught there?

To really make a judgement, is it not vital for the village – or representatives of the village – to see the assessments made on both the Edwardian buildings and on the Kempe Centre?

If we want to go ahead with the Free School, I feel the following steps have to be taken:

1/ we need to see the school’s travel plan and discuss whether a second crossing of the railway may be needed. (I’ve no idea if such a document exists.)

2/ we need to see the assessments on both college buildings to understand which may be the more appropriate space for a modern school. (To this end, my freedom of information request has been acknowledged.)

About jasperbouverie

I am Jasper Bouverie. I have two blogs: jasperbouverie.com which is about promoting sustainability in the village of Wye in Kent (and beyond); and FunderFilms.com which I will fill with short films dedicated to promoting social and environmental awareness and change. Find me on Twitter: funderfilms and finelinej
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