Residents unhappy with design for new Swiss cottage Academy
by Susanna Wilkey NEIGHBOURS have had their first peek at designs for the controversial academy school in Swiss Cottage. After the outline plans were sent out in the post this week, many residents fear the news buildings will overshadow their homes and be de
NEIGHBOURS have had their first peek at designs for the controversial academy school in Swiss Cottage.
After the outline plans were sent out in the post this week, many residents fear the news buildings will overshadow their homes and be detrimental to the area.
Camden Council has submitted a planning application for the 1,150-pupil academy on Avenue Road.
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Harley Road resident Teresa Quigley said: "It will definitely affect this area in terms of noise and light at the back of the houses.
"This area is at the moment very attractive and I think this building will change its character. It will block the light at the back and affect some of the long established woodland.
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"We are wedged in between the buildings so it will obviously change this street and the outlook from the flats will be spoiled - everywhere will be a lot darker.
"I am sympathetic to the school plan because I have a son and it is very difficult to get a child into a school, so we do need a new secondary, but I am not sure this is the best location."
Other facilities including games areas and floodlighting are planned, as well as 44 flats on the upper levels.
Another of the site's neighbours Mark Forrester said: "I do not think anyone is ever happy if stuff is built on their doorstep but with this planning application, it doesn't seem like they are using the space properly.
"They are obviously thinking about real estate and not the kids - why have I have not heard about the flats before this?"
Another Harley Road resident, Michael Hughes added: "I am against it and very worried about it. It is going to change the whole character of the area, and there will be a large increase in the number of students coming here, which will affect the residents.
"This is a conservation area, so how are they going to chop the trees down? We are not allowed to chop one tree down in our garden."
The academy is due to open in 2011 and will specialise in maths and science.
It has had a turbulent history already with many opposing its construction from the start.
A parent has now applied for a judicial review over the way Camden Council appointed UCL as a sponsor, claiming it forged a backroom deal after refusing to hold an open competition.
The consultation on the planning application is open until August 25 and a decision is expected by the end of September.