Campaigners against plans to expand a primary school on to a nearby park claimed their efforts to protect it helped win a prestigious green spaces award.

Last week, Dundonald recreation ground was given a Green Flag award, along with four other parks in Merton.

Dr Ernesto Pinto, member of Protect Dundonald Rec, said the Green Flag judges were impressed by the rec’s facilities and interested in the campaign against the council, which is seeking planning permission to expand Dundonald Primary School.

Dr Pinto said: "[The award] is simply essential. Dundonald Rec is much-loved by the local community, having the Green Flag would be a recognition of the community’s involvement in its protection”.

“There are more than 280 objections to Merton Council’s planning application. This is a clear demonstration of people’s passion for their park.”

The council's planning application is likely to be heard in September, but an ongoing legal row remains over whether it is legal to build on the Rec.

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