Free school plans could hit voluntary groups

Journalist Toby Young's plans for a free school in London features in our round-up of this morning's newspapers.

Journalist Toby Young’s plans to create a free school in Hammersmith, London, have run into a hitch after it emerged that the proposed venue is home to more than 20 voluntary groups. Hammersmith and Fulham Council wants to sell Palingswick House to reduce its debts, and its preferred option is the free school. However, The Guardian reports that voluntary groups operating from the building said that they would struggle to find alternative accommodation.

Scotland’s housing market is set for a "lost decade" of low house prices and sales, according to a new report. The Scotsman reports that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Scotland found that property sales fell again in December. It said that a lack of access to mortgage finance meant that sales were set to remain sluggish in the short term.

A senior councillor has labelled as "middle class idiots" conservation groups fighting to save Victorian homes in Birmingham. English Heritage and the Victorian Society have objected to plans to bulldoze derelict villas in the Hagley Road area of the city. The Birmingham Mail reports Birmingham City Council planning committee member Len Clark saying that the area is currently a blight on the city.

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