Sunday, June 06, 2010

Three local schools, three planning applications - have your say

Two schools in Ladywell ward, and two just outside it but attended by a lot of Ladywell children, have planning applications due to be submitted soon for refurbs or rebuilds - Gordonbrock Primary, Prendergast Hilly Fields, Lewisham Bridge and Brockley Primary School. Like most residents, I'm keen to see improvements made, and for the work to go ahead before the funding is lost, but am also keen to see good quality, sustainable buildings that will serve the local community for many years to come.

Gordonbrock Primary School
Following the legal action taken by Broc Soc and the consequent delay to the decant of the school, the Council plans to re-submit a planning application for the re-build of the school and is holding a public consultation event on its plans. Officers say that the scheme is based on the last planning application, but amended to reflect some of the comments made during the previous proposals.

The updated drawings along with members of the project team will be available at Gordonbrock school on Wednesday 9th June from 3:15pm to 7:30pm.

I haven't seen the revised plans, but from what officers said a few weeks back, I'm assuming the amendments to the plan include changes to the entrance area, so the Edwardian building isn't hidden behind the new building, and also to the materials proposed for the new building, rather than the white render previously proposed.

Prendergast Hilly Fields
I previously blogged about plans for the rebuild of the lower site of this school, and refurbishment of the listed building in the park. An application has been submitted to have temporary classrooms on Hilly Fields, on the flat patch of grass in between Prendergast School and the top of Eastern Road (see photos). You can view the application here.

I think it makes sense to make use of this space for the decant classrooms given it is there, rather than bussing students, provided the mature trees and the hedges around the edges are preserved, and the site restored to at least current condition (preferably better) after use.

Following a quick site visit with the chair of Friends of Hilly Fields yesterday, there are a few points that need clarifying, which we hope to raise with officers. We also thought that it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask for a small S106 commitment towards improvements to Hilly Fields, in exchange for a section of the park being effectively annexed for two years. One suggestion from the chair was for funding to be provided to resurface the section of road from the gate at the top of Eastern Road to the school, particularly given that heavy vehicles are likely to be using the road and exacerbating its already poor condition. She was also keen for a granite sett under the gates, to make the entrance to the park clearer and smarter. It doesn't seem like a big ask, given the likely disturbance to park users while the building work is underway.

Astonishingly, and despite me specifically asking officers to do so several months back, Friends of Hilly Fields have still not be formally consulted on these plans, either by the planning department or the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) team. I think the planning department's list of local groups to consult needs updating to include park users' groups and other more recently established groups.

Anyway, comments on the application should be sent to, with the planning application number (DC/10/74021/X) clearly marked.

Lewisham Bridge School
There was an initial, pre-planning consultation event a few weeks back, with new designs for the school, which incorporate the listed building, on show. I wasn't able to attend and can't find any online links to the plans. Has anyone seen them? What did you think? I'm particularly keen to see how much outside space is left with the revised plans. It would be really useful if the BSF team made these plans available online.

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