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.