Row over school plans

Dave Brock from the DH Lawrence Society outside Durban House in Eastwood.
Dave Brock from the DH Lawrence Society outside Durban House in Eastwood.

A row has broken out between members of the DH Lawrence Society about a new school being built in Eastwood.

The new Lynncroft Primary School in Walker Street will block the view of the countryside from Lawrence’s old home in the same road, at number eight.

Society member Dave Brock recently discovered Nottinghamshire County Council consulted with the chair of the society before the plans for the school were given the go ahead – and says he and other members were not told.

A meeting took place between society chairman, Malcolm Gray, Nottinghamshire County Council, the school’s headteacher, developers and planners.

And Mr Brock claims Mr Gray gave the plans the ‘thumbs up’ without consulting the rest of the society.

“He has clearly given them all the impression that he was speaking on behalf of the whole society and with the full authority of the Society Council.

“That was not the case. Nobody knew a thing. Members did not have a chance to register any opposition.

“I gave a talk to the society the day before this took place and nothing was mentioned that he had this meeting.

“He approved the building of the school in a location which has destroyed the famous Lawrence literary heritage view, all without alerting the membership

“He is saying he did it as some kind of good-will gesture to encourage the new school to permit the society to speak to the children about Lawrence. That is absurd in my opinion.”

Mr Gray said he did not wish to comment other than to say: “The difference of opinion between Dave Brock and the Lawrence Society was discussed internally at the Annual General Meeting.”

However another member of the society, Malcolm Matthews said: “They (Nottinghamshire County Council) were not asking for approval during that meeting. They were simply consulting.”

Talks on the matter continued, with Mr Brock pressing for more detail about exactly what happened, and members have now issued him with a warning letter to suspend him, for ‘prejudicing the well being of the society’.

It states: “You have over the past few years been very critical of the way certain council members have carried out their duties, and more recently you have written more insistently to the council about their handling of society matters. This has developed from what you might consider reasonable criticism to what we now consider to have become disruptive bullying.”