Logo

UCS head slams Barnet Council for ‘baffling’ rejection of sport pavilion plans

11:45 04 August 2014

UCS headteacher Mark Beard. Picture: Dieter Perry.

UCS headteacher Mark Beard. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Dieter Perry

The headteacher of a top Hampstead independent school has slammed Barnet Council for rejecting the school’s plans for a new sport pavilion, describing the decision as “baffling”.

An artist's impression of the proposed pavilion.An artist's impression of the proposed pavilion.

University College School (UCS), in Frognal, had applied to demolish the current Eve pavilion on its sports ground in Ranulf Road, Cricklewood, and replace it with a new building, as well as moving the main entrance to the sports ground.

The application attracted 58 letters of objection from neighbours living close by, who were particularly concerned about the proposal to make the ground’s secondary entrance - at the junction of Hocroft Road and Farm Avenue - its primary access point, which is currently in Ranulf Road.

On Monday last week, Finchley and Golders Green planning committee ignored a recommendation from officers to approve the scheme and rejected the application, citing safety concerns about the new proposed entrance being located on a sharp bend.

UCS headteacher Mark Beard told the Ham&High: “Barnet Council’s extraordinary vote to go against their own planning officer’s recommendation to approve an upgrade in the sports provision for over 1,250 children is quite astonishing and, indeed, baffling.

“The three councillors who voted against the scheme appeared to take no heed of the detail of the application itself and, instead, preferred to conjecture on hypothetical, unproven and unlikely scenarios as a means to scaremonger, whilst supporting those who did not want a new - and to our mind, along with that of Barnet’s own Highways Authority - safer access point near where they live.

“UCS has simply asked to modernise its pavilion and groundskeeping facilities from the 1920s to the 2020s, and it is disappointing that the local authority appeared to lack the vision and strength to recognise this need.”

Mr Beard insists the facilities in Eve pavilion, which dates back to 1923, are no longer fit for purpose and are in need of replacement, while the current Ranulf Road entrance is unsuitable for coaches entering the site.

He said new parking facilities on the site were also required in order to stop match day parking in residential streets, which is the current arrangement.

Mr Beard added: “The educational benefits of sport are well documented. That is why successive governments agree that school sport is very important. It is a shame that local government felt unable to help and we are currently reviewing our options on how to move forward.”

Childs Hill councillor Jack Cohen, one of the committee members who rejected the application last week, had serious concerns about the plans to move the main access point to the site.

He said: “This is about the sixth application to have the access on the bend made the main access and every time its come in front of the committee its been refused because of concerns about highway safety and the impact on the amenity for neighbours.

“It is a dangerous bend. If cars and coaches were to come out of that access I’d have real concern for road safety.

“The second issue is that there is a very green and open feel about that field and if you start introducing a large car parking space, I feel that will impact on the amenity for residents.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate education news

Campaigners against funding cuts to schools call on parents to turn tide

Campaigners against funding cuts to schools in Haringey have called on parents to turn the tide.

Camden School for Girls student turns Oxford University rejection letter into artwork

A Camden School for Girls student has seen her rejection letter from Oxford University go viral after transforming into a work of art.

Parent-led national campaign launched in Haringey in response to school funding cuts

A parent-led national campaign is being launched in Haringey in response to school funding cuts.

Budding Portland Place School thespians perform Our Country’s Good

Budding thespians at Portland Place School took to the stage to perform the first play acted out solely by the upper school.

Zadie Smith delves into her time at Hampstead School

In our latest questions and answers instalment the author of White Teeth, Zadie Smith, looks back at attending Hampstead School between 1986 and 1993.

Highgate Primary School fitness programme backed by GB Olympic athlete Bianca Williams

A pioneering weekly fitness programme at a Highgate school involving staff, students and parents has been given the seal of approval by a Great British Olympic athlete.

Hampstead and Highgate youngsters take to stage for school nativities

Parents and schools have been hard at work preparing for this year’s round of nativity plays.

Camden, Barnet and Haringey ahead of national average in SAT results

Camden, Barnet and Haringey primary schools have beat the national average for SAT results.

Haverstock School welcomes 250 homeless guests over Christmas period

Staff and students welcoming 250 homeless guests into the school over the Christmas period believe it is their duty to reach out to isolated people in the community.

Plenty of festive fun to be had at Winter Wonderland and beyond

There’s plenty of Christmas fun to be had across London’s parks and museums as Bridget Galton wraps up warm and discovers for herself.

Weston Park School: Headteacher of popular primary absent for six months

Parents have been left in the dark as to why the headteacher of a primary school has not been at work for the past six months.

Former London Metropolitan University lecturer looking to inspire next generation of architects

A former London Metropolitan University lecturer is looking to inspire the next generation of architects with a series of early years workshops in Islington.

Hasti Razaghi’s guide to starting life at London Metropolitan University

Starting university is something new, big and exciting, whether you are moving to a new city or another country.

Lady of Muswell Catholic Primary School students discuss Britain’s treatment of refugees

Welcome, hope and tolerance have been the three key messages for students learning about refugees.

Future bright for Archer Academy and Woodhouse College as schools announce partnership

A pair of Barnet schools believe the future is bright after announcing a “strategic partnership” on Monday.

BBC presenter Fiona Bruce guest of honour at South Hampstead School’s 140th anniversary

BBC presenter Fiona Bruce was the guest of honour at South Hampstead High School’s 140th anniversary celebratory dinner.

Fortismere School and Highgate Primary School lead way with Mandarin lessons

A Muswell Hill school is one of the first in the country to be selected by the government to try and fast track students towards being fluent in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.

University College School Hampstead student sets sights on Olympic Games sailing place

A teenage sailing star has the Olympic Games in his sights after being selected for the Royal Yachting Association UK 420 youth squad.

Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation founder: Channing School pupils launch food drive for Highgate Charity

Pupils at Channing School are working together to fulfil Alexandra Wylie’s dream of eradicating social exclusion and inequality by launching a food drive for local people who go hungry at Christmas.

Hampstead students follow in footsteps of Anna Pavlova with ballet lessons

Pupils at St Anthony’s School for Girls are following in former resident and prima ballerina Anna Pavlova’s footsteps with ballet lessons.

Hampstead schoolgirls hold yoga day for Indian village

They are raising money for children in rural India with a day of yoga, meditation and well-being.

Residents fight Belsize Park school’s plans for expansion

A group of angry Swiss Cottage residents have launched a campaign group to oppose plans by a private school to build new classrooms

Parents slapped with school fines and ‘wrongly’ told by Camden Council they cannot appeal

Camden parents were forced to pay a total of £20,000 in school fines in the last year, new figures have revealed.

School memories: BBC journalist Laura Trevelyan (Parliament Hill, Hampstead)

We spoke to BBC journalist Laura Trevelyan about her memories of Parliament Hill, Hampstead.

Headteacher of Hampstead private school says sport should engage the majority rather than burnish the few

The headteacher of a private school believes that sport in school should be used to engage the majority rather than burnish the few amidst reports that not enough young people are doing enough exercise each week.

Bishop Douglass joins Academy chain

The headteacher of Bishop Douglass Catholic School in Barnet has said he is “delighted,” by the progress being made in converting the school into an academy.

Working Men’s College urging people to sign up

The Working Men’s College (WMC) is urging people to sign up or miss out as the start of the academic year approaches.

Pupil at top Camden school refuses to open GCSEs because ‘obsession with grades is damaging’

Teenagers around the country anxiously tore open their GCSE results last week – but one Camden schoolgirl is refusing to even glance at hers because she believes society’s obsession with grades is damaging.

Portland Place commends successful students

Portland Place school students returned to school this morning to collect their GCSE results, with most being more than satisfied with what they found.

Year 6 pupil among those celebrating GCSEs at Greig City Academy

Greig City Academy today praised its students for some impressive grades in their GCSE results - including a year 6 student who got an A* in maths!

Quintin Kynaston improves GCSE results again

Students and staf at Quintin Kynaston school had reason to be happy today as they once again improved on the previous years’ GCSE performance.

Successful GCSE results day for Highgate School

Students and staff at Highgate school were reflecting on a very impressive set of GCSE results today, with 88.2 percent of exams receiving a grade of A* or A.

Highgate Wood School delighted with record-breaking GCSE results

The Headteacher has congratulated pupils as the school achieves best results in four years, bucking the national trend

Double success for Channing twins

Two sets of twins were among the standout performers at Channing school on GCSE results day, as the school recorded some excellent grades.

Paddington Academy student scores best ever GCSE results

Paddington Academy was celebrating a good set of GCSE results today, including their best ever set of results for a single student.

Fortismere School celebrates excellent results as disadvantaged children catch up

The Headteacher is pleased the gap between the grades of children eligible for school meals and wealthier pupils has “significantly” reduced

Improved results for Hampstead School for third successive year

The Hampstead School has once again seen its GCSE results improve today, with nearly a quarter of all grades receiving an A* or A grade.

Top marks for Henrietta Barnett

Henrietta Barnett school has produced another incredible set of GCSE results today, with its best set to date.

Hornsey School for Girls with jump in GCSE results

Girls at Hornsey School for Girls were today collecting some stellar GCSE results.

William Ellis headteacher praises ‘exemplary’ students after GCSE results released

The headteacher of William Ellis school, Sam White, was full of praise for his students today after a promising set of GCSE results.

South Hampstead celebrates A* successes

A senior staff member at South Hampstead High School praised the “grit” of students after 64 percent of exams were given a grade of A*.

Top marks for UCS’s second best set of GCSE results

University College School was today celebrating the second best set of GCSE results in its history, with a remarkable 88.6 percent of exams achieving either an A* or A grade.

Thousand of teens go back to school for GCSE results

Teenagers across the country face one of the most nerve-racking days of their young lives today with the publication of GCSE results.

Camden council leader praises “inspirational” A-level students

Camden council leader Sarah Hayward was full of praise for A-level students across the borough following the publication of their results last week.

Greig City celebrates improved A-level results

Greig City Academy was today reflecting on A-level results which will see its students take up places at some of the top universities in the country.