SAY NO TO HIGHGATE SCHOOL EXPANSION
- Over 10 years of building work in Highgate Village proposed
- Massive disruption
- School buildings to almost double in size
Highgate School has submitted 6 planning applications for a massive 10-year redevelopment of the school:
2 sites on Southwood Lane (Dyne House Site and the Science block opposite)
2 sites on Hampstead Lane and Broadlands Rd (Richards Music Centre and the Mallinson Sports Centre).
Plus applications for Far Field and a huge decant facility.
If approved by the council this would see a combined doubling of the size of these buildings (from a Gross External Area of 10,471 sqm to 19,334 sqm).
Impact on Highgate Village:
The works on Southwood Lane will last over 5 years – running concurrently with a short break in between.
The Science Block would be the first development (up to 2 years) followed by Dyne House (up to 3 years) but it’s very likely the works will take longer due to the complexities of both sites.
During this time there is likely to be at least 3000+ HGV construction lorries coming in and out of Highgate Village.
- The school’s plans show the designated routes for construction lorries would be North Hill, North Road, Castle Yard, Southwood Lane, Southwood Avenue and the top of Jacksons Lane and Southwood Lawn Rd.
- The majority of these are very narrow residential streets where HGV lorries will struggle to manoeuvre and will present serious safety challenges for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
- Residents parking will have to be removed on streets to deal with the size, number and frequency of heavy lorries.
- There will also be numerous road closures to get large amounts of heavy equipment in and out of the sites.
All this disruption will have a serious knock on effect across the whole Village including the High Street and its businesses.
While we fully appreciate that the school needs to upgrade their facilities, and that some expansion may be necessary, they have provided no justification of the academic “need” to develop their sites on such a massive scale. And the council have failed to appoint an independent expert to scrutinise the school’s space demands.
As a result the school have submitted plans based on a “desire” for a level of facilities that we believe is unreasonable and unnecessary – yet they boast on their website about their current facilities.
The current Good Schools Guide states “Few London schools can boast the wealth of space and facilities offered at Highgate School".
Furthermore the plans do not take into account the constraints of our historic Village and they totally disregard the sensitive conservation area.
The excessive scale of works will foist 5+ years of disruption onto residents and businesses for the 2 Southwood Lane projects AND a further 5 years for the Broadlands Rd/Hampstead Lane projects. In total, 10 years of continuous building works in Highgate Village.
While the school states that the plans are to accommodate existing pupil numbers (currently almost 2,000) they are only tied into this commitment up to 2031* which means after this huge expansion they would be able to apply to the DfE to significantly increase pupil numbers.
You can still object!
The consultation deadline was 21 April although the council have confirmed they will accept objections up to several weeks later. However we would advise submitting objections as soon as possible.
Details opposite contain suggested objection points for the Dyne House and Science Block applications. In your objections, do also include some of the more general points above.
We strongly advise residents to personalise and write in their own words otherwise the planners are less likely to take on board residents’ concerns.
*Highgate School Supplementary Planning Document March 2021 paragraph 2.8 "This SPD has a lifetime of 10 years from adoption".
Specific objections to the Dyne House plans:
There will be an adverse impact on the sensitive Highgate Conservation Area due to excessive scale of development.
There will be damage to views in and out of the Highgate Bowl which is a highly sensitive and protected site. This is in direct contravention of the Highgate Plan which states that these views must be protected.
Deep basements risk damage to properties and the public highway, and will disrupt underground water courses which could result in flooding.
Close overlooking of new classroom windows straight into homes and private gardens.
Removal of numerous mature trees on the site.
Gibbons Garden: The SPD states “It is intended that this area [Gibbons Garden] remains open”. The proposals show new building in the area – a flagrant breach of the SPD.
Specific objections to the Science Block
This would be a tall and bulky side extension behind two of the Alms Houses, several meters from their rear windows, resulting in loss of daylight, sunlight and privacy.
A proposed Observatory on the roof of the buildings will overlook neighbours’ windows and have an adverse impact on the local environment.
A new open external corridor on the 1st floor will overlook neighbours’ windows and be a source of noise disturbance.
Specific objections to the Far Field site
The Far Field will be covered by synthetic turf, resulting in:
loss of biodiversity which won't be offset by 'biodiversity margins'
loss of soil as carbon sink
increase in flood risk
loss of air filter properties of natural gas increasing air pollution
the use of plastic with the potential for microfibre leakage into soil
synthetic turf difficult to reuse or recycle
All inconsistent with Haringey's commitments to tackle the climate and ecological emergency