Camden Council gives green light to Hampstead School’s redevelopment plans

Proposed designs for the new Hampstead School teaching block

Proposed designs for the new Hampstead School teaching block - Credit: Archant

A major redevelopment of a Camden secondary school has been given the green light to provide pupils with state-of-the-art teaching and sports facilities.

Hampstead School in Westbere Road, Cricklewood, was granted planning permission by Camden Council last Thursday to demolish its subsiding 1960s teaching building.

It will make way for a modern new building with a red, yellow and black facade, as well as a new sports centre.

Headteacher Jacques Szemalikowski said: “We are delighted that the planning permission has been granted and we look forward to the works progressing smoothly so that young people in the community get the school they deserve.”

The new three-storey teaching block will house a dining hall, drama studio, music facilities, science laboratories, and a large assembly hall.

Pupils will be able to congregate in a newly-created plaza at the entrance to the teaching block as well as being able to enjoy new play areas.

The sports centre will have four courts and an activity studio, while two all-weather sports pitches will be created outside.

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A design and access statement on the online planning application states: “The school’s facilities need renewal. A number of the buildings are in a poor condition, in particular the 1960s building in the centre of the site which has suffered from structural subsidence.”

The redevelopment has been largely welcomed by local councillors and the community.

But the application drew some concern from residents living in nearby Menelik Road. Several complained that the new teaching block would be just 10 metres from the boundary of their homes, while others objected to the proposed designs.

Neighbour Frances Nagy wrote in a formal objection: “The brightly-multi-coloured appearance of the proposed new building would be visually intrusive and not in harmony with the existing buildings of the surrounding area.

“The bright new red colour in particular is environmentally seriously [sic] obtrusive and unacceptable.”

The West Hampstead and Fortune Green Neighbourhood Development Forum also expressed its concerns, despite supporting the application in principle.

Chairman James Earl wrote in a comment on the application: “We have received a number of complaints from local residents about this planning application.”

He added: “There is no evidence in the documents submitted with the application that the opinions of local residents – particularly those living close to the school – have been considered and reflected in the submitted scheme.”

The redevelopment is being funded by the government’s Education Funding Agency.

It is not yet been revealed how much the works will cost.

Works are due to begin later this year.