A ‘long overdue’ redevelopment of Northolt School delivering thousands of additional square metres for sports has been approved by Ealing Council. The school, which sits on Eastcote Lane, is to be knocked down and rebuilt over two phases, allowing for the site to continue operating during the construction periods.
All 1,100 pupil spaces will be rolled over into the new school, plus 30 new places for students requiring Additional Resource Provision (ARP). Across the 1,100, 900 are aged 11 to 16, with the remaining 200 sixth form students.
The existing school is a combination of one, two and three-storey buildings, split into several blocks, one of which is currently vacant.
The redevelopment will involve demolishing the current buildings, which the application notes are “no longer fit for purpose”, and constructing in their place a part two, part three-storey structure, containing teaching areas, dining and assembly halls, and other educational facilities.
Certain areas are to be made available to the community outside of school hours. These include fitness rooms and the drama studio, in addition to the existing sports hall, courts and playing fields, which are already open to public use.
The plans, submitted by the Department for Education (DfE), also involve the extension of some of the current sports facilities, as well as the introduction of new spaces, such as a multi-use games area, adding 6,877sqm in sports provision.
The applicant claims the scheme will be net-zero carbon, and will result in a biodiversity net gain, with 32 new trees to be planted replacing the eight due to be removed.
Cllr Chris Summers, speaking at Ealing Council’s Planning Committee meeting last week, said the redevelopment has been needed ‘for a long time’.
While airing some disappointment at the removal of the community cinema initially intended to be delivered as part of the redevelopment, Cllr Summers said: “This is long overdue and I like the way it’s been designed, especially the smaller footprint on the south end of the site.”
Cll Aysha Raza was also among those to praise the plans, saying: “It’s not just a school, it’s not just a place of education. I think it will vastly enhance all the other community groups that use that area.”
Council documents detail how the phasing of the redevelopment over two stages will allow for pupils to remain on-site while works are ongoing.
The approval also includes a number of financial conditions, such as £140,000 to implement a school safety zone and other works, and £20,000 to improve the cycling infrastructure by the site.
Northolt School was included on the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme (SRP) project in July 2022, a scheme focussed on major refurbishment projects at schools and sixth-form colleges across England.