Highgate School planning applications – read this first
Planning applications have now been submitted to Haringey Council for the School’s 10-year building programme which involves four main sites: Dyne House and the Science Block in the village; and Richards Music Centre and Mallinson Centre in Bishopswood Road. There would if approved by the Council be a near doubling in size of the total floor areas of these buildings. The planning applications also cover the erection of temporary classrooms, on which we have not commented, and conversion to an artificial pitch of Far Field.
The Highgate Society and other local groups have engaged with the School at all opportunities during the pre-application process, but a significant number of concerns raised at those meetings have not been addressed.
Commenting or objecting to these applications via the Haringey Council website is now the only remaining opportunity to influence these proposals.
As a matter of urgency, please:
– look at these applications and see how they will affect you.
– refer to our guide ” Making an effective comment or objection”.
– write in your own words as individual objections will be given greater importance.
Analysing these applications is a huge task and the Society has agreed with Haringey Council they will still accept objections and comments. All comments should be submitted as soon as possible and at the latest by 21 May.
The Southwood Lane Residents Association has set up the following website: https://www.savehighgatevillage.com/ although this does not cover the Richards Music Centre or Mallinson Sports Centre sites.
See https://www.highgateschool.org.uk for the School website details – building projects are shown as a tab on the ‘information’ page.
The main issues
– The architectural impact of the new/extended buildings on the Highgate Conservation Area
– Environmental sustainability and likely changing environmental requirements over the next 10 years
– The impact on immediate neighbours with overshadowing, loss of sunlight and noise
– The impact of basements on underground and overground water flows, slope stability and flooding
– Finally, the impact of 10 years of building works on pupils must be considered.
The scale of phased construction works on Highgate, its streets and its residents over the period of a decade will be considerable. The Southwood Lane Residents Association say:
“There are likely to be at least 3000+ HGV construction lorries coming in and out of Highgate Village.
– The school’s plans show the designated routes for construction lorries would be North Hill, North Road, Castle Yard, Southwood Lane, Southwood Avenue and the top of Jacksons Lane and Southwood Lawn Rd.
– The majority of these are very narrow residential streets where HGV lorries will struggle to manoeuvre and will present serious safety challenges for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
– Residents parking will have to be removed on streets to deal with the size, number and frequency of heavy lorries.
– There will also be numerous road closures to get large amounts of heavy equipment in and out of the sites.”
There will also be construction traffic on Bishopswood Road and Hampstead Lane accessing the sites in those areas.
Inevitably there will be a knock on effect across the whole Village including the High Street and its businesses.
The School will be required to submit construction management plans for each application but usually this is after planning permission has been granted. We think that given the potential impact, assessment of Construction Management Plans must take place together for all sites as part of the planning application approval process, not left as a detail to be addressed after approval has been granted.
Is there anything in this for Highgate village?
In the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) dated March 2021, the School states that pupil numbers will not change for the next 10 years, but this commitment is of little practical effect because the works in progress will themselves set limits. We are concerned there may be long term plans for continuing expansion after the end of the 10 year timeframe. See our news item “Mystery Building Identified in Broadlands Road” in this newsletter. The present proposed developments are of a scale that could be seen as providing a basis for further expansion. Although the SPD is valid for 10 years, an application could be made to the DfE to expand pupil numbers after its expiry.
The school is a valued neighbour and important employer, but expansion will change Highgate as a place to live and work, probably increasing traffic and impacting the Conservation Area. If these proposals are approved it is important that there should be some planning gain for Highgate Village and its residents, not just years of disruption.
Note: Planning gains (or planning obligations) are ways that local authorities can secure additional public benefits from developers, during the granting of planning permission.
Links to further information on each application are below. Follow the links for each of the sites for more details and a link to each of the applications on the Haringey website for submission of comments.