School plan for disused Highcombe playing field


Our Lady of Grace primary school could be rebuilt on a long-disused playing field in Highcombe if plans submitted to Greenwich Council get the go-ahead.

A planning application has been submitted to move the Roman Catholic primary school from its oversubscribed site on Charlton Road onto the playing field, which has sat disused since the early 1990s since Christ The King Sixth Form College moved to Lewisham. The school site would be redeveloped into housing.

The rebuilt school would have its entrance and exit on Lime Kiln Close, the cul-de-sac built on the site of what used to be St Austin’s boys’ school, whose playing field it was.

Our Lady of Grace is one of six south east London schools in the running to have a replacement school built under the Priority Schools Building Programme – if the government gives it the funds and the council backs the plans, it could be open by 2015.

While the plan (reference 13/2692/L) is due to be publicised in this week’s edition of council newspaper Greenwich Time, at the time of writing it can’t be viewed on the council website because of a technical fault.

The proposal also affects the Charlton Community Gardens group, which had been proposing to use some of the land for a community garden. But with Greenwich Council committed to ensuring there is no loss of community open space (the disused field is shown on a map as just that, despite it being owned by a French religious order and having been out of bounds for two decades), the group is exploring options as to how it can attempt to secure some land there.

Charlton Community Gardens: Gardening Party And Open Day

The community garden at Charlton Station - photo by Nikki Coates
The community garden at Charlton Station – photo by Nikki Coates

Charlton Community Gardens have been in touch with a couple of dates for your diaries (and  they also have a new website):

Gardening party Sunday 6th October 2-4 pm
This is the first of our regular gardening sessions planned for the first Sunday of every month. Those that use the station regularly will have seen 2 more raised beds installed and the newly planted wildlife-friendly garden. There’s still plenty to do before winter is upon us, so please join us any time between 2 and 4 pm this coming Sunday 6th October at Charlton Station.

The jobs that need doing include:

  • planting spring bulbs
  • clearing shrubs
  • planting currant bushes
  • tidying and clearing the raised beds
  • planting winter veg

We have some tools and gardening gloves if you don’t have your own.

Open Day
Our next open meeting will be on Wednesday 23 October in The Old Library at Charlton House from 7pm We plan to have stalls featuring local projects as well as the usual Plant Sale and raffle. Come early to visit the stalls before the formal meeting starts at 7.30pm. The first part of the meeting will involve planning for the Highcombe site and will also consider how the station garden might develop. This will be followed by a quiz–questions on both gardening and Charlton. Please get in touch if you can spare some time to deliver flyers door to door in the next couple of weeks.

Charlton Community Gardens – September at the Station

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An update and some dates for your diary from Charlton Community Gardens:

Autumn is just around the corner and our plans are turning to the next stage of the Charlton Station garden. In September we will have two clearing Sundays, followed by installation and planting of two more raised beds and planting a wildlife friendly area.

We look forward to gardening with many of our waterers and gardeners on the next two clearance days:

  • Sunday 1 September at 2 pm 
  • Sunday 8 September at 10 am

Please wear stout shoes, bring gardening gloves and garden forks, spades and loppers, if you have them. Don’t hesitate to come along without gloves and tools, though – as we have some to lend.

More news to follow on the raised beds and planting session(s).