School approval gives land back to common
Published: Thursday 20th September 12
Open space on Putney Common is set to be extended and enlarged after councillors on the planning committee last night (Wednesday) approved plans to replace the derelict old Putney Hospital with a residential development and a new primary school.
The new school would be funded by the construction and sale of 24 flats at the northern end of the hospital site, on land currently occupied by the now disused nurses' accommodation block.
Only a little over half of the existing hospital site is needed for the new school and flats. The remaining part of this brownfield site can be reclaimed as common land and become part of the open space of Putney Common.
The new primary school, which is vitally needed to address a shortage of places in Putney's Thamesfield ward, would be built on the southern end of the hospital site.
The total footprint of the new school and the new residential units, along with its small access road, is 0.58 of a hectare.
This remaining 0.55 hectare of the site, which is currently occupied by parts of the derelict hospital, its car park, nurses housing block and existing access road, would then be restored to the common.
The new primary school will admit 60 pupils a year into two reception classes. It is expected to open by September 2015 and will eventually cater for 420 pupils from the local area.
Demand for school places is increasing hugely. In Thamesfield ward alone there is now is a predicted shortfall of 60 reception places in 2013. This shortfall will then fluctuate around the 50 mark between then and 2020.
Across Wandsworth as a whole, the birth rate has risen from 4,000 a year a decade ago to just under 6,000 a year in 2010. This upward trend is expected to continue for the next decade.
The approval given by councillors last night must also be endorsed by London Mayor Boris Johnson before full planning consent exists.