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Boris forces sale of Southwark Fire Station for free school

London SE1 website team

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has issued a formal direction to force the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority to sell Southwark Fire Station and training centre to developer Hadston.

Boris forces sale of Southwark Fire Station for free school
Boris forces sale of Southwark Fire Station for free school
Last week SE1 Parents held a gathering outside the fire station to demonstrate support for a secondary school shaped in collaboration with local people

We reported in January on plans to turn part of the former fire station and fire brigade training centre into a secondary school.

Now the Mayor has instructed the fire authority to accept a bid from Wiltshire-based developer Hadston which includes the provision of a 1,100-place secondary school.

He has also agreed to provide extra funding to LFEPA in case the sale is the subject of legal challenge by other bidders.

As well as a secondary school, the Hadston scheme will also include an as-yet-unknown number of homes.

Hadston is run by entrepreneurs Jeffrey Thomas and Jeremy Sanders and describes itself as a developer with a "community bias" that specialises in projects such as schools, housing, research facilities and data centres.

The identity of the educational organisation behind the proposal for a new school has been a closely-guarded secret and has still not been revealed.

Meanwhile a group called SE1 Parents has launched a campaign to have the school set up as a grass-roots parent-backed initiative.

Details of their campaign are at

The group told us today: "We are very pleased to see this beautiful public building remain, in part, a public building and are glad that short term financial gain has not overshadowed pressing public need for a local secondary school.

"We look forward to engaging with the developers with regard to an appropriate school provider."

Documents published on Friday by City Hall also offer a clue as to the future of the London Fire Brigade Museum: "Hadston also proposes to retain a museum on the former fire station site," says the GLA report on the sale.

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