A real class act

Kerry Boettcher
Monday 23 Mar 2015

Architects at Conran and Partners have submitted plans for a new primary school as part of the continuing transformation of London's re-energised Green Man Lane neighbourhood.

The new school will be a bright, modern centre of learning for young people as part of its acclaimed £155million master plan for regeneration partners Rydon and A2Dominion in West Ealing.

The proposals will see the existing St John's Primary, which like the original estate was built in the 1970s and has reached the end of its lifespan, replaced with a larger three form entry modern school.

The Conran team has worked closely with the existing school and Ealing's education chiefs to create classrooms fit for 21st-Century learning.

A planning application has now been submitted and if approval is granted the school will be rebuilt on adjacent land.

The existing school buildings will remain open during construction work. St John's pupils will then be able to move seamlessly into their new school, planned for the start of the 2017/18 school year.

The redundant buildings will then be demolished and 92 new affordable and private sale homes built, enabling funding for the school development and bringing the site into

the new community that is being built in phases by Rydon and A2Dominion.

The school will have places for 630 pupils, plus a 100 place nursery and provision for 25 pupils from across the borough in its Additional Resource Provision for Special Educational Needs. There will also be a rooftop play area as part of the three story development.

Lee Davies, director of Conran and Partners and the architect of the new Green Man Lane community, said: “We’ve spent a lot of time listening and developing ideas in partnership with the school to give pupils and staff something that both reflects and adds to the great vibrancy and energy of its community.

“A natural palette of quality materials will match the school’s desire for a building to provide a true backdrop for the colour and vibrancy of the children and their work.

“The school will be developed on a confined city site; however the layout optimises external space for learning and play. It includes a play area on the roof of the building.

"There are also a number of sustainable features incorporated in our plans, including natural ventilation and solar shading. The building will also be linked to the district heating CHP built in phase one of the Green Man Lane redevelopment."

He added: "The funding model for the new school, and the work developers A2Dominion and Rydon have carried out with Ealing Council to enable this project to go ahead highlights how regeneration can bring improved amenities."

The application for the new school follows planning permission for the second phase of the Green Man Lane regeneration blueprint.

Tom Rigby, Development Director at Rydon Construction, said: "Green Man Lane's innovative regeneration is providing high quality homes, community space and now an opportunity for a much bigger and better new school for West Ealing.

"The release of land for housing will help to fund the proposed new St John's Primary School, accommodating the growing and diverse needs of the local community, whilst providing good value for Ealing Council."

The Conran and Partners designs aim to create around 200 much-needed new homes in that second stage, with more homes to follow in stage three. 

The entire five-phase scheme, including the school, is being delivered in a partnership between developers A2Dominon and Rydon.

It will provide a mix of more than 700 one to four bedroom homes, all with generous living spaces along with communal facilities including an art cafe, community centre, eco-friendly energy centre, cafes and public parks, play areas and landscaped piazzas.

The first phase of the rebirth of the five-hectare site has received widespread acclaim and is building a new, vibrant community to replace a crumbling housing estate, which had numerous social problems.

Constructed in 1971, the old Green Man Lane estate declined in recent years. Many flats were over-occupied and residents reported concerns with security and isolation.

Local consultation has been key to the development's success so far. Lee Davies said: "Much of what we have done is getting back to the basics that make for strong community living. This next phase will build on that work even further.

"For things to change in Green Man Lane, not just the environment but the perception of living there also had to change. The school will play a part in that change of perception and the sense of a rebirth of an area and a community."


Kerry Boettcher

News Editor

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United Kingdom

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