Lawyers have threatened legal action against a group of parents fighting the expansion of their children’s school.

Parents are concerned about the expansion of St Mary’s and St Peter’s CE Primary School, in Teddington, and Richmond Council has taken exception to objections to the plans.

The council put in an application in July for the provision of additional buildings at the Somerset Road school to enable the school to be enlarged from two to three forms of entry.

Sport England has already lodged formal opposition to the plans because of the loss of playing fields. The council would need to get a relaxation from the Government to develop the school as it would be left with about a quarter of the outdoor space needed.

Parents have been communicating about the plans using email addresses - and - but Guy Bishop, licensing and litigation solicitor at Richmond Council, contacted the owners of the addresses and warned them to stop sending “defamatory” emails.

Mr Bishop wrote: “Certain information contained in your emails is incorrect, defamatory, abusive and is likely (and appears to be designed) to cause our clients financial loss or damage to their reputation.

“We require your confirmation that you will not continue to send emails on the school expansion to parents with immediate effect and that you will not repeat any defamatory material or make any further defamatory comments.

“Unless we hear from you to this effect within the next seven days, we will take such action necessary to protect my clients. My clients will consider commencing claims for defamation and/or malicious falsehood and/or unlawful interference.”

Parents’ concerns over expansion include noise and disturbance during the building work, loss of trees, concerns over road safety outside school, a reduction in costs of materials affecting the look of the school and that the site is too small for three forms.

They claim the email from Mr Bishop is an attempt to stop them communicating and shows the council are “feeling the pressure”.

A Richmond Council spokesman said: "The legal department considered one particular email to be sufficiently serious for us to issue a warning that unless the individual or individuals involved desisted with some of the allegations therein we would consider taking legal action.

"We will continue to monitor the situation very closely but we have decided not to take further action at this time.”

The council is enlarging the school as part of a £32m primary school revamp, which will also see expansion of Holy Trinity CE Primary School, in Richmond, Chase Bridge Primary School, in Whitton, the merger of Stanley Infant and Junior Schools, in Teddington, into one large school and Orleans Infant School and St Stephen’s Junior School, both in Twickenham, becoming all-through primary schools.

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