RESIDENTS are outraged at proposals to give a school exclusive use of a park's games area.

Under Lewisham Council plans to enlarge Northbrook School, in Taunton Road, Lee, the current building on the site will be demolished and rebuilt to accommodate 600 pupils, up from its current number of 520.

In January, the council also proposed the school should have exclusive access to the games area of Manor House Gardens park, in Lee, for more than 25 hours per week.

But at a meeting in the park, attended by around 40 people last Tuesday, residents were furious at the possible loss of the park's facilities.

Carolyn Bosworth-Davies, 51, of Taunton Road, said: "The amount of time which the park will be used by the school during the week will mean during the short days of winter it will be mostly inaccessible to the public."

Residents also fear anti-social behaviour by pupils will increase in the park, despite the school promising supervision of students at all times.

Alison James, 36, of Leahurst Road, Lee, said: "The children vandalise the park, drop litter and are very intimidating.

"If pupils are allowed to use the park during break times, we're afraid the problems will increase." Speaking after the meeting, a council spokesman said: "Pupils have always had access to the park recreation area and proposals for the school rebuild will benefit pupils and community members.

"The school will use this area for timetabled PE activities and also at mid-morning school breaks and lunchtimes under supervision." Plans for the school's development were submitted last December and are part of the Government's Building Schools for the Future initiative to modernise schools.

A public meeting about the building design was held last month.

The council spokesman added: "Following the meeting held in June, the applicant and their design team have been looking at ways to try to overcome concerns raised during the consultation process.

"It is anticipated revisions to the scheme will be submitted shortly and a further period of consultation of 14 days will take place.

"The application will then be presented to the planning committee for determination."