A 630-pupil primary school could be built on an industrial estate at the end of Anchor and Hope Lane – and could open as soon as September next year.
Councillors on Greenwich Council’s cabinet are due to rubber-stamp a decision next week to sell the Anchorage Point industrial estate so it can be used as a free school for the Harris academy trust.
A report to councillors says a new school is needed to meet demand in the north-west of the borough, with the Charlton riverside area due to see thousands of new homes in the coming years. The site is next door to where developer Rockwell had a 771-home scheme rejected by a planning inspector last year.
Councils are banned from building new schools themselves, and Harris Federation had permission granted by the government in 2017 to build a free school in the borough. Greenwich plans to transfer the Anchorage Point site to the new school.
“It is proposed that Harris Primary Free School will open on a phased basis with 90 places in the reception year in September 2022 (subject to a site being secured and planning permission being granted) but will eventually have 630 pupils in the reception year through to Year 6. There is also the potential for the school to offer early years education provision,” papers for next Wednesday’s cabinet meeting state.
The industrial estate opened in 1999 to accommodate businesses that were displaced when council land on the Greenwich Peninsula was taken over as part of the project to bring the Millennium Dome to the area. Tenants include Tavern Snacks, which makes crisps and nuts for the pub industry. The council says it will offer tenants new sites in the borough – a process which could start the long shift of much of Charlton’s industry to sites in the Plumstead and Thamesmead area.
Another tenant is Greenwich’s borough archive – facing its second eviction as little as three years after being turfed out of the Royal Arsenal in 2018 for the Woolwich Works creative district project. When the possibility of the site being disposed of emerged before Christmas, The Charlton Champion contacted the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust to find out its plans; it received no response.
Provision for a new road cutting through part of the site will be included in any deal to sell the land.
Councillors will decide whether to go ahead with the sale at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
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