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New primary school for West Norwood


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#1 Green Man

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 08:33 PM

Jackie Meldrum announces:

Dear friends & residents of West Norwood

I am very pleased to be sending you this note about the latest plans for the new primary school in West Norwood and to let you know the school will be in the office building on Wolfington Road, off Knights Hill, a few minutes walk from West Norwood station.

The plans for the new school will be on display between 2pm and 7pm on Wednesday 24th November 2010 at Nettlefold Hall, upstairs from West Norwood Library. This is an important opportunity to see the plans & say what you think about about them before the formal planning application is made. Of course everyone will also have a chance to comment on the plans as part of the formal planning application process.

This new primary school for West Norwood is due to open in September 2011 thanks to funding agreed by the Labour government before the May elections.

For more details visit our website at http://www.westnorwoodnews.com .Your local councillors update this web site regularly and you can follow us on twitter to keep on top of the latest local news http://twitter.com/westnorwoodnews

Best wishes

Jackie

Cllr Jackie Meldrum


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#2 JennyB

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 06:40 PM

Dear Member,

Due to the huge demand for school places in Norwood, a new primary school is proposed on Wolfington Road – to be opened in September 2011. The school will be a two form entry (60 pupils in each year) and will be named Julian’s - West Norwood. It will be run in partnership with Julian’s – Streatham (in Leigham Court Road) under the headship of Alison Moller, the current head of Julian’s -Streatham. In order to meet demand for places, the new school will be taking pupils from September 2011. These first classes will be in temporary classrooms on the Julian’s –Streatham site for the first year, these classes will be transferred to the new site in West Norwood in 2012 when the development is expected to be completed.

Meeting the demand for school places is the number one priority for Debbie Jones – Executive Director of Children and Young Peoples Services at Lambeth Council. Although the new school will go some way in addressing the demand for primary school places in the neighbourhood, it is recognised that we have some way to go before the demand for places is wholly met and I understand that the department responsible for schools is attempting to meet the demand by providing extra classes in a number of primary schools.

You can see a model of the new school at Nettlefold Hall – West Norwood Library, which I am advised will be open to the public until 9pm tonight

Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite
Councillor for Gipsy Hill
Labour Group Office
London Borough of Lambeth

Phone 020 7926 3000
mobile 07805943813
email jbrathwaite@lambeth.gov.uk
website http//www.lambeth.gov.uk

#3 Green Man

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:49 PM

I saw the plans. The whole site looks very cramped. The classrooms were only just above the legal minimum size, and the playground looks even smaller. Lambeth has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the country, and building schools with almost no playground space isn't the way to improve things.

The architect claimed that most of the children would come in the back way via the Norwood Hall access road, but if I had a home on Wolfington Rd, I'd be seriously woried about the extra 450 children a day being dropped off on my street. Children won't walk to school unless it's the easiest option.

But having said that, building a school near a playing field and swimming school is one Lambeth's better decisions.

#4 Sidney

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:51 AM

I went along to the viewing of the plans on Wednesday evening and I share a lot of the concerns that Green Man has raised. Wolfington Road already has major traffic congestion problems and putting a school there will only make it worse. Not only that but it will reduce the amount of parking space already available on the road as parking will not be possible outside the school. It will also increase the traffic on surrounding roads, particularly St. Julian's Farm Road, which will become even more of a rat run as it it will be the main road that links the two sites of the school. They say they are carrying out a traffic survey of the area to establish what the travel levels currently are.

The head of St. Julian's and the council rep were trying to convince us that because the school will have such a local catchment area that children are more likely to walk there. That's not going to happen on cold winter mornings and when parents are rushing to get to work and it is well known that many children are driven to school. There are also plenty of children who are driven to school at the existing Julian's school site and the new site will be primarily for little ones who can't walk very far.

The other concern is that there is currently a footpath from Wolfington Road to the Norwood hall site. As this runs close to what would be classroom windows we were asked what we thought of this footpath being closed off. Those of us there expressed our resistance and said the footpath needs to stay especially if the development of the Norwood Hall site goes ahead, particularly for disabled access. We were told this pathway is not a public right of way but I have subsequently found out it might be a permitted right of way.

We were told there is no other site that is suitable, although the reason given for not using the Travis Perkins site was because this is being considered for something else (I assume part of the master plan). We were told the vacant site next to Big Yellow was not big enough, but would be if it included the Big Yellow site. So it seems there are other sites, but not ones that are as cheap or as quick to turn into a school.

I also raised the lack of consultation that there had been over this development. They seemed to take this on board and said they will think about doing more. I was informed there would be other consultations at the planning stage.

I totally appreciate the need for new primary school places and a new site in the area and recognise the greater benefits it may bring to West Norwood. However I feel this is the wrong site, mainly because of the traffic issues but also what Green Man has said about the site being very cramped with little outside space. There are other sites, which might cost more and take longer to develop, but surely what is most important is that we get a new school that fits the needs of our children and local residents.

I would urge residents, particularly those living close to the proposed site, to be aware of what is being proposed. What would accompany a new school on this site would be traffic pollution, noise pollution and an increase in rubbish. This will be amplified if the proposed development of Norwood Hall also occurs as footfall and traffic will increase dramatically. So to have two major developments in close proximity will have a huge impact on the local residents.

I have to say the whole event on Wednesday was not helped by the female architect present who was completely defensive over the design and plans and seemingly totally uninterested or concerned about our views. It felt like having to do this consultation was a huge irritation to her and she totally put local residents backs up.

#5 Sidney

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:18 PM

Her gender isn't relevant and I wasn't making a point about her gender, just her attitude. I said it to distinguish her from the other architect that was there who was male.


mod note: Post above this one removed at poster's request.

Edited by Summit Lover, 27 November 2010 - 02:36 PM.
request from a member


#6 Green Man

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:36 PM

Please could you explain why the gender of the architect is relevant here?

There seemed to be two architects present. On male one female. I don't suppose Sydney got her name, and even if he had, it wouldn't really be fair to name her here.


The problem is simply one of money. Lambeth is trying to build a two form entry school, on a site more suitable for a one form entry school. It's no surprise that they want to do the minimum possible consulting. We know they could do better, and they know it too.

#7 andreas

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 03:50 PM

There seemed to be two architects present. On male one female. I don't suppose Sydney got her name, and even if he had, it wouldn't really be fair to name her here.



I do apologise, Sidney. Two minutes after I posted, I realised there may well have been two architects, one male, one female. I PM-ed the mods to ask them to delete my post - but alas the damage was done. Sorry.
opposed to taking terrapins.

#8 Sidney

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 05:48 PM

You had a fair point Andreas. I could have said one of the two architects present had a bad attitude, then I wouldn't have needed to mention gender at all.

#9 Sidney

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:51 AM

I am aware that there is another consultation meeting to look at the plans for the proposed new site for Julians school on Wolverton Road on Monday 28th February. Does anyone know where and what time the meeting is? I presume it's at West Norwood library.

I would urge people to go to this meeting. Whilst I totally appreciate the need for more primary school places in the area I feel the identified site is wrong for a number of reasons and will have a huge impact on the residents and traffic on Wolverton Road and the surrounding roads, even with the new traffic calming measures that are being introduced.

#10 Sidney

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 04:12 PM

I have found the answer to my own question. The consultation is from 2.00pm until 9.00pm tomorrow at Lower Nettleford Hall. It's interesting that those who have arranged the consultation haven't posted anything on Virtual Norwood. So much for what they said about increasing awareness of the consultation process at the last meeting.

#11 SparkyUK

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:16 PM

thanks Sidney for posting the information. I'm going to try to make it tomorrow -- most likely to show my support. I may be biased as I have children who will attend the new school and I understand the concerns for the residents on Wolfington road (not Wolverton?) but for our family and the other young families in our neighborhood this school is a godsend.

The location by Norwood Hall and by the station makes a lot of sense to me. Being by the station will be great for working families like ours - and is one reason I don't think the parking problem will be as bad as it might be otherwise. (I always hated the idea of the site at the Travis Perkins for many reasons, but one being having to cross through an industrial estate over two very busy roads that cars race along to get there.)

At the end of the day, there is a real dire need for the new school. If planners are forced to go back ot the drawing board and find a new site, there will be severe delays in the project. Worse, in the current economic climate of cuts, the project risks being shelved, which would be a potential disaster for families like ours.

I also encourage people to go to the consultation but please keep an open mind.

#12 Green Man

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 03:24 PM

It's almost exactly the same design as before. :(

Cheap, cramped, and uninspiring.

#13 Sidney

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:32 PM

Just been to this consultation. The design looks good but as Green Man says the building and outside space is cramped. They will close off the current walk way that goes to the Norwood Hall site along the side of the existing building.

My main concern is still the additional traffic and parking. There are only 8 parking spaces for all the staff. So where will the rest of them park? They are still trying to convince me that everyone will walk to school and there won't be much increased traffic. The catchment area is only suppose to be 800 metres from the school. Even so on a wet, dark, cold Monday morning in November with tired children I don't really believe the majority of people will be walking.

#14 misspoddy

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:47 PM

Just been to this consultation. The design looks good but as Green Man says the building and outside space is cramped. They will close off the current walk way that goes to the Norwood Hall site along the side of the existing building.

My main concern is still the additional traffic and parking. There are only 8 parking spaces for all the staff. So where will the rest of them park? They are still trying to convince me that everyone will walk to school and there won't be much increased traffic. The catchment area is only suppose to be 800 metres from the school. Even so on a wet, dark, cold Monday morning in November with tired children I don't really believe the majority of people will be walking.


What will be the intake? Is it one or two form entry? At Paxton we only have 6 car park spaces for the staff and the traffic around the school is no problem. Of course there is more traffic than for the rest of the day between 8:50 and 9:05, but nothing major. Catchment areas for primary schools are really really small, so most people do walk. I really wouldn't worry about that.

#15 SparkyUK

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:05 AM

Cheap, cramped, and uninspiring.


Oh, I think that may be a bit harsh. The woman (architect?) I spoke to said that the classrooms were at 'recommended' size or above (so, above the recommended minimum). They all seemed to be about 64 square meters - how does that compare to other schools? It seems adequate to me, but hard to imagine without being in the space set up with desks or what-have-you. I liked that there seemed to be a lot of outdoor space tied to each of the classrooms - so each class has a large balcony to use for their own projects as well as the communal outside spaces like the playground.

I was wondering if others in the immediate area received a flyer telling them about the consultation today. I didn't receive one and hope that was a one off and not a distributor ripping off the council by just dumping the leaflets...