BY TOBY PORTER
A big high school has been given permission to build a new block to ease the pressure on its bursting classrooms.
Wandsworth council has given the green light to the £1.8 million proposals for the extension of Graveney Upper School on the site of a former family centre, which is now closed.
The school, designed to fit 1,990 pupils, currently has 2,066. The 1,285 sqm block, designed by the Urban Projects Bureau along the western side of the school site, will create nine classrooms, a learning resource space, offices, a toilet, circulation terraces and a roof-level observatory.
It was approved even though some nearby residents had complained about the threat of increased traffic and noise in the area, loss of light and claims that it would be out of keeping with the older buildings on the site. But Wandsworth planning officers said: “The school’s facilities cannot cater for its current enrolment levels and there is a shortage of learning and study spaces.
“The application seeks to make efficient use of the existing site via the removal of a single-storey family centre to be replaced with a three-storey building providing classrooms, independent learning and office spaces and terrace areas.
“The family centre was a disused building leased out by the school to a community playgroup.
“The playgroup ceased trading in August 2015, and the building has been empty since then.
“Graveney Upper School is currently oversubscribed in terms of pupil numbers. There are 2,066 students on roll compared to a net capacity of 1,990 students.
“The school has a keen demand for more space in order to accommodate teachers and students.
“Therefore the proposed development would cater to an identified need of the existing school, provide expanded facilities to cater to their student body.
“The development would not introduce a new facility, rather expand an existing one and would not result in a loss of residential uses.
“The development would not have a detrimental impact on the amenities of surrounding neighbours.”