Abacus Belsize: School looks to appeal council's decision to stop it moving into former Hampstead Police Station
PUBLISHED: 13:35 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:35 18 November 2019
Abacus Belsize Primary School says it will fight on and is looking to appeal Camden Council's decision to stop it moving into the former Hampstead Police Station.
The application to move the 210-pupil school was unanimously rejected by the planning committee on Thursday night after a three-hour discussion.
Councillors had refused it over concerns about impact on the local area through noise, traffic, air pollution, a lack of outside space, and damage to the Grade-II listed building's heritage through building work inside the station.
The school is currently based in Camley Street and its lease expires in 2021. The Department for Education bought the former police station in 2014 for £14.1million, a year after it closed.
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The school is part of Anthem school trust, which rebranded from CfBT earlier this year. A spokesperson said: "We are extremely disappointed that last week's planning committee refused our application to develop the former police station at Rosslyn Hill, once again delaying the promise of a permanent home for Abacus Belsize Primary School.
"It was particularly frustrating, after working with the many professional officers of the council and other agencies such as Historic England for the past two years, to have such a strong recommendation to permit our application, backed up by further evidence and defence at the meeting, rejected by councillors."
"We are confident that we can mount a strong challenge to the committee's decision and will be talking to the professional team and to our legal advisors with a view to appealing the decision in the new year.
"We will continue to fight until we succeed in securing the new home that Abacus' children and their families deserve."
The school's headteacher Vicki Briody said: "I want to give special thanks to our excellent staff team here at Abacus for helping to make us the outstanding school we are, and to our magnificent parent body for their tireless activity and unflinching support. We have grown into a close-knit family over the years and that strength will help see us through. It is a privilege to work with you all."