Views Sought On Proposed Designs For Controversial New School

Consultation event in South Wimbledon over Harris Academy plans

A "public consultation event" is to be held over proposed designs for a controversial new free school on the High Path estate in South Wimbledon.

The school, which will cater for 1,150 pupils, is set to be built on a site now partially occupied by the Elim Church. Meanwhile the church will get a new home in historic Merton Hall, Kingston Road, after a much-criticised redevelopment.

The consultation event takes place on March 19, from 4pm-8pm, in the High Path Community Resource Centre at 63 High Path. The centre itself is also on the site of the proposed academy.

Local residents have been leafleted about the meeting, with developers Bowmer & Kirkland giving details of the proposed five-storey building (see more images of the designs below) ahead of a planning decision.

Planned Harris Academy

The leaflet says: "As well as high academic achievement, the academy will promote extra-curricular opportunities to enrich and broaden young people's horizons and offer arts, sports and drama facilities for the whole community to use."

Merton Council has also announced that as Merton Hall is an Asset of Community Value (ACV), that potential bidders will soon have chance to submit a bid to buy the site. But it adds that work will be starting in the meantime to increase its size and capacity.

It also says the planned temporary site for the new Harris Academy - in the former Merton Adult Education Centre on Whatley Avenue - will open as a school in September.

In a statement, it said: "Harris Wimbledon will open at the former Merton Adult Education Centre on Whatley Avenue taking in 120 pupils in September 2018 and a further 180 the following academic year before moving to its permanent, purpose built site on High Path in 2020.

"The site of the new school is currently occupied by High Path Resource Centre, a former officer building as well as Elim Church, the last piece in the jigsaw to secure the land at High Path. Elim church has now signed a contract to swap their land on High Path for Merton Hall on Kingston Road, owned by the council."

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March 9, 2018

Related links
Related Links

Harris Academy proposed design

Planned design for Harris Academy

Merton Hall as it is now