Downtown Abbey star Jim Carter predicts disruption as school moves to Hampstead Cricket Club

Plans to move 500 pupils from Camden’s highest performing school to temporary classrooms at Hampstead Cricket Club may bring noise and disruption to both players and residents it is feared.

Proposals for a temporary move have triggered complaints from residents that traffic will increase greatly during school runs.

They complain that Lymington Road in West Hampstead is already blighted by lorries and building works at the new Jewish Community Centre in nearby Finchley Road.

South Hampstead High School says the two-year move would see 152 more daily car journeys to Hampstead Cricket Club.

The school’s charitable trust, which owns the freehold of the land, has applied to Camden Council to demolish squash courts, build two-storey temporary classrooms on tennis courts and take over the cricket club’s clubhouse during the day.

The club leases the land from the Girls Day Schools Trust.

Cricket club chairman and Downtown Abbey actor Jim Carter said: “There will be noise and disruption but we are working together to minimise that and I hope there will be a minimal amount of disruption.

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“It has been a pretty harmonious process.

“There will be some crossover between the school leaving and us taking over in the evenings and there are a few operational details that need ironing out – it’s just a situation we will have to live with.”

The building work will allow the school to redevelop its Maresfield Gardens site.

Chairman of the Lymington Road Residents’ Association, Paul Mingo, said: “A lot of residents are against the idea and are concerned that there will be a rise in traffic during pick-up and drop-off times. It’s already a busy road and some people are not best pleased.”

Margaret Willmer, who lives opposite the planned development, said: “At the moment, we can see right over the cricket pitch for about a mile but that open aspect will disappear completely.

“It will be more than 500 people a day going backwards and forwards. It’s bad enough when they have their sports day when parents block our drive. So I can’t imagine what this will be like.”

The council will consult on the application until March when the plans will go before the planning committee.