CALLS have been made for the council to “stand up for all schools” after it was decided that land would be sold for a new city centre building.

On Wednesday, cabinet members at Southampton City Council voted to back plans for a new school building on Lime Street.

This followed a scrutiny panel recommendation to defer the decision until more data could be gathered.

Concerns had been raised about the affect this new development, which would provide a new home for Hope Community School, would have on nearby schools.

Fears were raised over redundancies with the free school set to double in size if the Department for Education project goes ahead and now members of the opposition have said evidence that shows a “detrimental impact” is being ignored.

Labours spokesperson for education, Councillor Darren Paffey told the Echo: “Hope School could get its new building and other schools could be supported, but the Tories are following the party line and rolling over when central government tells them what to do.

"They should be standing up for all our city’s schools.”

Whilst leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Satvir Kaur added: “We believe Hope School do need a new building, but this needs to meet the needs of our city; currently it does not.

“We will keep pushing for additional support for all our schools, during what is now going to be a turbulent time for them.”

But cabinet member for growth and deputy council leader, Cllr Jeremy Moulton, accused Labour of being against free schools.

He said: “My thoughts are that if this wasn’t a free school they wouldn’t be raising this level of objection. If this was a maintained school, I don’t think we would hear these concerns.

“We had the same thing over a decade ago when the Oasis academies were built, they did everything possible to stop that, nearly resulting in £35m worth of capital funding going back to government.”