John Lewis are no longer the owner of the Clearings site, whose redevelopment plans include the demolition of our school. This has become clear from a number of articles in the press. The entire project has been sold and the company does not have anything to do with it any more. According to the Telegraph, the price they claimed for it was £ 200 million.
Media articles link the deal to sports tycoon Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United and founder of Sports Direct. None of them, however, name the source of that information or have been able to confirm it. Officially the site has been sold to McGrove Securities Ltd, a brand new company registered ad hoc in February.
According to company information databases, it is a joint venture between major property developers McLaren and Citygrove. The new company does not seem to have offices or a functioning website yet and its only contact information is its registered address – the same as that of Citygrove. We have not been able to make any contact with the new owner so far.
Marlborough parents have not been informed about the sale, even though it went through in April. That means that in a few weeks our children will be moved to a warehouse facility owned by a commercial entity we have no information about and no contact with. We have not been given any details about the state of the new premises nor been allowed to see them.
It also means that John Lewis initiated the whole project with the intention to cash out as soon as they could. Rebuilding our school has been just an excuse for them and for the council to go ahead with a luxury residential development project at the expense of smaller school grounds and the loss of our precious historical building.
Please sign the petition to stop the demolition, your signature could make the council re-examine their plans.