Many people are delighted to hear that the successful Harris Federation will be opening a free senior school in Wimbledon.

Their establishments around London have been transformational for children and communities.

The challenge is to find enough land to build a school for a thousand pupils.

Although central government is tasked with finding a site, Merton’s Labour Council have made some land proposals, which are too small and which will be publicly unpopular.

For example, Merton Council is refusing to rule out offering the new school the Merton Adult Education/Joseph Hood site and Wimbledon Chase School’s playing fields.

Beyond the fact that both land masses are far too small, this action is incredibly insensitive and deeply upsetting to both children and parents who are worried stiff that their child’s school will close or have their outside space concreted over.

Merton must make clear to all parents and pupils that Joseph Hood School will not be closed and Wimbledon Chase school grounds are safe from the bulldozer.

Beyond this terrible travesty for families, the other reason not to site the new Harris School in the Bushey/Kingston Roads area is that there are five senior schools with 15 minutes walking distance already.

Yet in Wimbledon Park/Trinity/Abbey and Colliers Wood wards there are no senior schools. If the number of children by ward averages out across Wimbledon, it is clear that the new school should be sited in the north-east of the borough.

Personally, I believe the best site for the new school is the dog track on Plough Lane.

This can easily fit an outstanding football stadium, some flats and a school. Schools and football stadiums are used at different times and some facilities can be shared.

What better than a new school in Plough Lane that is utterly necessary for the town rather than 600 tightly packed flats without infrastructure that are not.

David Dean