The government’s promised consultation over a new school in Mortlake is not enough, according to campaigners.

Livingstone Academy is set to open on the former Stag Brewery site, after originally being approved for Tower Hamlets, and hundreds have signed a petition asking for an “open competition” between providers, and for residents to be involved in the decision.

When asked how the decision to open a school in east London can be transferred to south west London without restarting the application process, the Department for Education said it was reacting to the changing needs of local areas.

A spokeswoman said: “In the case of Livingstone Academy, the need for school places has moved from east London to west London and so, with the agreement and support of the local authorities, the Trust and the local MP, we are considering relocating the proposed free school project to Richmond.

“As part of this we will be carrying out a consultation in due course.”

This is likely to be a Section 10 Consultation, which usually takes place after most details, including planning permission, heads of terms and other contracts, are sorted out.

In the case of Livingstone Academy, this could begin 12 months before the school opens – so, from about September 2020 based on the planned opening date of 2021/22.

The Section 10 Consultation is needed before the government will sign off the funding agreement so the school can open.

Richard Buggs, the petition organiser, said this is not enough.

He said: “We know a Section 10 Consultation will happen, but we are petitioning for something that should have happened before a provider was announced for the school.

“Our petition is asking for local people to be consulted on who the provider of the new school will be. This is what the government’s own guidelines say should happen before a provider is given the running of a new free school.

“This has not happened for the valuable Mortlake site, and our petition is asking that it should happen.”

Livingstone Academy will be run by The Aspirations Academies Trust, a free school provider in the UK with 14 schools across the country. The school would be open in partnership with, and named after, Ian Livingstone CBE, who co-founded the retail company Games Workshop.

The vision for the academy is to offer a quality education that provides qualifications at GCSE and A level but also develops  essential 21st century skills for young people.