A significant amount of educational space currently on the site is not in a condition where it is able to be used. The site has the potential to have over 1,000 students, but currently the Academy caters for 570 secondary school pupils. A new Academy would have the same capacity by making more efficient use of the site and providing brand new facilities.
- Phoenix Academy is an excellent school, rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted – but we want to be even better and the buildings which it occupies hinders this. It is vital for the children who attend the Academy both now and in the future that we ensure they have the best possible environment in which to learn and achieve.
- A key consideration of our proposals has been to limit the impact of any construction work on current students. We will be phasing the development and utilising temporary accommodation to ensure that we can continue to deliver an excellent education.
- With no Government funding available, in order to enable our development of the new academy building, sports facilities and other community opportunities, we are planning to self-fund the enhancement of our school through the building of new homes on the site.
- At current, the Academy land is not being effectively utilised, and moving forward in this way allows us to fund the new educational facilities as no public funding is available.
Whilst this is an option we have considered, given the Academy’s limited budget for maintenance and the lack of external funding sources, this would not tackle some of site issues that the Academy faces, and it would not be able to provide new buildings or sports facilities.
Due to the layout of the Vibe, as with many other aspects of the site, it has presented a number of challenges to the effective operation of the school. These challenges are so substantive, that the school has made the decision to use classrooms in other, older parts of the building, rather than use the Vibe. This is despite those classrooms possessing many challenges of their own.
As part of developing our plans to enhance the education environment on the site, we looked at opportunities to reuse and improve facilities where possible. Most of the buildings, including the Vibe, would need extensive refurbishment that would be very costly and result in compromised education facilities. In particular, detailed analysis was undertaken on the Vibe building. Unfortunately due to the small windows and complex structure, the refurbishment of this building would result in a compromised education facility and would be as costly as building a new purpose built academy. Redeveloping this building therefore allows us to create a better educational space along with exemplary sports facilities.
- Whilst located in a conservation zone, the buildings on the Phoenix Academy site are not of high design quality and do not enhance the appearance of the wider area.
- This redevelopment has provided an opportunity to rethink the buildings on the site, and also to provide a transition between the taller buildings in the White City Estate and regeneration areas to the north and east, and the more suburban feel of the Wormholt area.
- The plans we are submitting have been through discussions with the Council’s Planning Officers, and we have reduced the heights of the residential aspects of the scheme in their with their comments and feedback from the public consultations.
- We are proposing buildings ranging from 3 – 8 storeys (Similar in height to the Bloom Building on Bloemfontein Road). This is so that we can balance our educational needs with the housing levels required to fund the project. The information boards demonstrate how the team has looked at reducing the overall mass through the design development.
- To ensure the delivery of exemplary educational and sorts facilities, we need to fund this through the development of housing on site as no public funding is available.
- In order to facilities this, we are proposing to deliver around 400 new homes in a variety of tenures to encourage a community feel, and include as much affordable housing as possible.
The development will be car free, except for Blue Badge holder spaces (non-ambulant residents). All other residents would not be eligible for a residents parking permit and instead will use the significant levels of public transport available locally.
Other users on site
We have been working with the volunteers and managers at the Phoenix Farm throughout the consultation process. We’re looking to create a more celebrated entrance and give the Farm further planting space into the new public through route. We are also proposing planting along the new public route which the farm can control and maintain giving it more presence in the community (As they do at Bridget Joyce along Australia Road).
The swimming pool will be retained as part of the development, with an enhanced external appearance from new cladding.
We’re working to ensure that the new proposals provide the same opportunities for external hiring as the existing site, but with better facilities.
There will be some on -site parking for staff, and Blue Badge spaces available for the new homes.
As part of the proposals we’re including a new pedestrian access route from The Curve to Bloemfontein Road, a key benefit of the scheme for the wider community.
This is our final consultation ahead of submitting a planning application to Hammersmith and Fulham Council. Once the application is validated, the Council will undertake their own statutory consultation on the proposals.
Should a planning application be approved by the Council later this year, we would anticipate that construction of a new Academy would be complete for the new school year in 2023.