The council has proposed offering the Catholic church a 125 year lease for a “peppercorn rate” for a school site in Twickenham, a diocese application suggested.

The Diocese of Westminster revealed the plan in its application to the Education Secretary for consent to propose a Catholic secondary school, in Clifden Road.

It said in the document, seen by the Richmond and Twickenham Times, that Richmond Council has agreed to buy the four acre site.

It said: “It is proposed that most of the site is to be leased to the Diocese of Westminster at a peppercorn rate for a period of 125 years for the purpose of conducting a Catholic maintained secondary school.” It added: "The council approached the Diocese of Westminster with the offer of the school site, and the two dioceses are working to raise the money required to carry out the necessary capital works on site."

The diocese said the proposed opening date for the school was September 2013.

Richmond’s Liberal Democrat group have called for an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday, November 1, where it will press for a consultation with all parents of children at primary schools in the borough.

Councillor Geoffrey Samuel, deputy leader of Richmond Council, said: "The church have been told if they want to make a bid to the Secretary of State, they may. If he agrees, then it will go to a statuary process of consultation.

"It was a manifesto commitment that we would do everything in our power to ensure that there was a Catholic school in the borough. No one was in any doubt that that was our plan.”