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New approach needed for listed London school

The Victorian Society is calling on Lewisham Borough Council to completely rethink its plans for Lewisham Bridge Primary School following a decision by ministers to uphold the buildings Grade II-listed status.

The school has been the focus of a successful parent protest ever since education officials in the borough moved the children to a temporary location and submitted an application to demolish the building. They wanted to build a new academy on the site catering for more than 800 children aged from 3 to 16.

Now that the building is listed parents say they are optimistic that their children can return to Lewisham Bridge, but the Victorian Society is warning campaigners not to be complacent;

'Listing gives the school some protection but it is not completely safe from demolition until plans are approved which incorporate the Edwardian building. There is potential for the school to expand but not at the scale currently proposed', said Alex Baldwin, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'You can't squeeze 800 children onto this site without losing either all the outside space or part of a listed building - it is time for a rethink'.
The Department for Culture Media and Sport last week rejected an appeal by Lewisham council against the English Heritage decision to list the school.

Background

Lewisham Bridge School was designed in 1914 by W. E. Riley, architect of St Paul's Girls school on Brook Green in Hammersmith a few years earlier. The school was geared around considerations of health, smaller class sizes and a belief in child-centred education.

 

 

 

Wednesday 12 August, 2009

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