Residents challenge Highgate School's 'one-way' redevelopment plans

Haringey Council said a supplementary planning document for Highgate School's redevelopment proposals allowed a more...

Haringey Council said a supplementary planning document for Highgate School's redevelopment proposals allowed a more "holistic" approach. - Credit: Highgate School

Residents have raised concerns over Highgate School's "one-way" redevelopment plans at a public meeting. 

The proposals are subject of a supplementary planning document - paid for by Haringey Council - that sets out how the school plans to rebuild and expand its facilities over the next ten years. 

Highgate School, recently named independent school of the decade by the Sunday Times, said it was aiming to submit planning applications during the first six months of next year. 

Local residents, who have until December 21 to comment on the draft SPD, aired their views at a public meeting - held virtually - on November 25.

The presentation was attended by officials from the council and the school. 

Michelle, a Highgate resident, said: "My concern is that this plan seems one-way and if it is accepted in principle, it seems to pave the way for only one form of action - that Highgate School would continue to expand, and by their own admission, there are limitations to that expansion without having considerable local impact." 

Philip Crowther, Haringey Council's principal planning officer, responded: "The school have said the works are not intended to accommodate the expansion of pupil numbers but to address existing deficiencies and provide suitable accommodation. 

"If the council decided to not progress with the SPD, applications would come in piecemeal, one by one, and it's a bit harder. 

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"So by having a masterplan approach, things can at least be considered more holistically."

Highgate School's plans include the redevelopment of the Mallinson Sports Centre and the Richards Music Centre in Bishopswood Road. 

Another key proposal is the redevelopment of the senior school at Dyne House in Southwood Lane. 

Highgate resident Paul said he was concerned about the impact of this development on the local community. 

He said: "Southwood Lane is a very, very small area and to talk about it as if the new facilities are going to be used regularly and by residents parking there, I think is a nonsense.

"There are some very historic Grade II listed buildings either side of Dyne House so it's very important that those views aren't interrupted by a big, horrible modern building."

Highgate School headteacher Adam Pettitt previously told this newspaper: "This investment programme is needed to conserve, refurbish, modernise and, in some cases, redevelop key parts of the estate to meet the school's long-term needs."

For more information about the SPD and the next public meeting click here

READ MORE: Highgate School and Haringey Council open consultation on masterplan to modernise key school buildings