Presentation DHRA EGM at Keats Library. March 2016

Posted in on the 09 March 2016

Abacus School on site of the old Police Station
Special meeting Wednesday 9th March 2016 at 7pm

Meeting Objective

  • Inform attendees of scheme and likelihood of impending planning application
  • Explain DHRA Committee Position
  • Solicit input from attendees
  • Identify actions for assembly of relevant facts when reviewing planning application
  • Identify funding needs
  • Identification of Team to lead


  • Summary of Abacus School Proposal
  • DHRA Committee Position
  • Q&A
  • Other Organisations’ positions
  • Funding and Choices
  • Identification of Team to lead

Abacus School

  • Free School :non denominational
  • Started three years ago
  • Presently serves Belsize Park and has 90 students
  • Highly rated by OFSTED
  • Operates a car free travel plan
  • Location : Town Hall > Camley St > Police Station
  • Seeking Police Station Occupancy by Sept 2017
  • Increased from 210 to Two forms with 420 students total when complete due to scale of available building

Present Abacus School Catchment Area (Under Consultation to add Blue Area)

Abacus School at Police Station

  • Building renovations would add a large block to rear
  • School Entrance would be on Downshire Hill
  • School would create two new car park spaces for residents overnight although not sure of use in out of hours activity
  • After hours use of school by public groups will be encouraged

Design Evolution – Current Proposal


Abacus Free SchoolSeeking Permanent Home
Education Funding AgencySetting Student Numbers and Funding Police Station redevelopment
Education Development TrustSupporting Free Schools
Camden PlanningPlanning Authority
English HeritageConfirm Renovation consistent with Conservation area and listed Building
Kier ConstructionContractors
Watkins GreySchool Architects
Maddox AssociatedSchool Planning Advisor
DHRARepresents Downshire Hill
Hampstead Neighbourhood ForumRepresents careful and sustainable use of Hampstead Area
Heath and Hampstead SocRepresents Dev in the Area
Thurlow Road AssociationRepresents Thurlow Road

DHRA Committee Position

  • We do not oppose a school in principle
  • We oppose the scale of the school for the following reasons :
TrafficWe believe that traffic will increase considerably and;-
• Impact on amenity of street
• exacerbate an existing pedestrian safety issue
DesignWe believe the proposed design is not sympathetic to the building or the neighbourhood
NoiseWe believe the increased noise is not consistent with the neighbourhood character
Amenity due to
entrance on DH
There will be loss of amenity due to the planned entrance being
on Downshire Hill as;
• Such an entrance will encourage traffic onto local residential streets
• Huge impact on some immediately adjacent individual homes
Overall ScaleWe believe that EFA is trying to maximise use of building and inserting an urban use model in a village setting

Attendee Feedback

  • Downshire Hill Residents
    No Objection
    OK if scale is reduced (if so to what scale )
  • All Attendees
    No Objection
    OK if scale is reduced (if so to what scale )

Next Steps (DATA)

  • Develop / Assemble data sets for traffic at Police Station
  • Develop / Assemble data sets for pick up / drop off traffic at other schools with similar student populations ( e.g. up to 2.5 miles from home)
  • Secure independent traffic advice
  • Secure independent planning advice
  • Secure independent architect / heritage advice
  • Secure local environmental data
  • Obtain drawings

What we need from You

  • Contact details
  • Commitment to assist
  • Funding assistance
  • Willingness to join forces with joint subcommittee of DHRA. Need volunteers who are willing to share load
  • Present Hampstead residents to others as fair minded but concerned re neighbourhood character
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