Wednesday 24 September 2014 12.48pm
The school blog now has additional images about the proposal as well as the contact details of the Southwark project manager. There's also a general description of the plans:
"Following the information session on 22nd September at Charles Dickens Primary, we are sharing additional images of the proposed additional buildings. The large building on the site of the main playground is to be a new kitchen and school hall. These will be larger than the current facilities to accommodate the additional children and lunch requirements etc.
On the roof of this new building will be a ‘Quiet Garden’ or Study Terrace to allow for further growing of plants etc and outdoor learning. Additional classrooms for the extra pupils will be created by dividing the current ground floor hall and using the current kitchen.
As seen in the pictures, the new build is designed to echo and reflect the Victorian buildings around it. Further detailed plans etc will be available as part of the planning application which will be submitted once the local community has had the opportunity to reflect on the designs and feedback to the Southwark Project Manager.
please address any comments and feedback to Susan Fuller ( Southwark Project Manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org
" [end quote]
Note in particular the "Areal view from the South West corner" which clearly shows the "The large building on the site of the main playground" mentioned in the description.
Effectively, most of the current playground will be built over, to a height going up to the 2nd floor of the building. What is now an open space where children can run freely will be replaced by a much smaller courtyard playground, elevated walkways surrounded by railings, and spaces which "will not be for running around" (dixit architects on Monday and as per the "Quiet Garden" above). A number of people present at the public consultation were highly sceptical of the plans, which
- will deprive the children of the one bigger open space they have (many children do not get to run and play in the open outside school); and
- mean there will be substantial buildings which will obstruct views and access to sunlight, and bring school noise much closer to the buidlings, incl. flats, surrounding the school. The architects have done no study of the noise impact on the surrounding area (coming from a school which most already consider to be a very noisy neighbour).
My conclusion from Monday's consultation was that neither the school (headteacher who left shortly past 7pm in the middle of a discussion), nor the architects seemed to have considered the surrounding neighbourhood in their plans. And it may be that the constrainsts relating to the other side of the site (which I understand is not the school's, see "Lant Street
" thread) have influenced the decision to build on the main playground. The school and Southwark Council
should first sort out the situation about that part of the site, before sacrificing a playground which has served generations of children. Amid constant talk about rising levels of obesity and insufficient levels of fitness in children, CD school and Southward Council will take away the free play open space (sunlit during parts of the day) which the children have access to. If I was a parent of a CD child, I would be demonstrating outside the school gates right now.
Interestingly, there were no parents at Monday's consultation meeting (except one dad who was a resident of building opposite school and who would have got the letter from Southwark Council
). I wonder whether parents have been kept up to dat with the plans?