Charlton Park Academy rebuild approved by councillors

What the new school will look like

Greenwich councillors have backed a new scheme to revamp Charlton Park Academy.

The academy, in Charlton Park Road, has had its plans for a revamp approved by the local authority at a planning meeting on Tuesday. The school, which looks after kids with special educational needs, was given the greenlight to bulldoze the existing school building in place of new modern features.

Charlton Park Academy teaches students with complex, low incidence special educational needs.
Councillors signed off on the plans at a meeting on June 5 following officer’s recommendations.

Officers said in a report before the meeting: “Charlton Park Academy, as a SEN school, provides a valuable service for the local community by providing education for vulnerable children and young adults who cannot be accommodated in conventional or unspecialised schools, with a focus on complex, low incidence disabilities.

They added: “The proposed development is considered to be acceptable in land use terms, and the redevelopment of Rainbow House would enhance the educational offer within the borough, by providing modern learning facilities and enhanced sleeping facilities for children with special educational needs.”

The existing buildings were originally parts of the 1967 school that have since been encased in temporary structures. In their planning statement, submitted last year, the school said: “The key benefits of the scheme include the demolition of tired and not-fit-for-purpose education building and an important upgrade in the provision of a much-needed Special Education Needs and Disability facility with all modern facilities.”

The plans will have the existing school building demolished and a two-storey replacement with sleeping accommodation for staff and students, along with kitchen and living areas.


LDRS logoTom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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Council planners recommend rebuilding Charlton Park Academy

What the new school will look like

Planners at Greenwich Council have recommended that councillors back a scheme to revamp Charlton Park Academy by knocking down and rebuilding its main site.

The plans, to demolish a building known as Rainbow House for bigger, modern facilities, have been backed by council officers.

A two-storey replacement will have sleeping accommodation for staff and students, along with kitchen and living areas.

Officers said: “Charlton Park Academy, as a SEN school, provides a valuable service for the local community by providing education for vulnerable children and young adults who cannot be accommodated in conventional or unspecialised schools, with a focus on complex, low incidence disabilities. The proposed development is considered to be acceptable in land use terms, and the redevelopment of Rainbow House would enhance the educational offer within the borough, by providing modern learning facilities and enhanced sleeping facilities for children with special educational needs.”

The school said its current setup has become “no longer fit for purpose and have aged beyond being reasonably maintained”. It added: “The key benefits of the scheme include the demolition of tired and not-fit-for-purpose education building and an important upgrade in the provision of a much-needed Special Education Needs and Disability facility with all modern facilities and support providing essential enhancements to the quality of SEND provision whilst at Charlton Park Academy.”

The plans will be debated at a planning meeting on Tuesday, June 4, at Woolwich Town Hall.


LDRS logoTom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
See more about how The Charlton Champion uses LDRS content.


Developers get go-ahead to build houses on Pickwick pub garden

Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road
The Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road. Photo by Neil Clasper

Developers have been given the green light to concrete over a pub garden in Charlton and build six new houses, despite concerns from neighbours in overlooking properties.

Greenwich councillor’s approval came months after officers threw out a scheme to bulldoze the closed Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road.

The developer, Pure Let Greenwich, put forward plans to demolish the pub’s extension in place of six new homes, concreting over the pub’s garden in the process.

Neighbour Susan Archer said her house had not been considered by officers who had recommended approving the development, which would have a four-bed family property at its rear.

She said: “My conservatory would be directly looked into by the four bedroom property. The rear buildings will be able to see directly into my property. My privacy will be totally affected.”

The resident said there has also been confusion amongst residents as to what the application was, as a previous scheme for the pub itself was thrown out last year.

A model of the plans, with the original scheme to bulldoze the pub in the corner

Council officers rejected plans last year to bulldoze the three-storey pub after more than a dozen people objected to losing the building.

The neighbour said there could have been more people objecting if the process had been clearer.

Developers said they would plant trees to screen her property from overlooking, but were left red-faced when asked about why they had already cut a tree without permission.

Chair Sarah Merrill said: “In the plans it very clearly says the tree is to be retained but it has been felled. If that’s an old plan as you say what is it doing before us.

“My view is that the pub is empty, the community space at the back is falling down. It’s an eyesore – the land is vacant. When I first looked at the application I was happy you were retaining trees so then to find out you’ve felled the huge one is upsetting. That’s disingenuous.

“However it is not worth turning down housing on those grounds. I do share concerns from the resident and there is going to be a very firm condition for screening.”

The developers said having a profitable development would eventually lead to bringing the vacant pub back into use.

The approved scheme, passed unanimously by councillors at Woolwich Town Hall, featured conditions for extensive screening of the site.


LDRS logoTom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
See more about how The Charlton Champion uses LDRS content.