The journey towards a permanent home for Abacus Belsize Primary School
Here you will find the latest news on our plans to move our outstanding school from our temporary home closer to the catchment we serve.
We’ve long been certain that the former Hampstead Police Station on Rosslyn Hill is not only an ideal location for a permanent home for Abacus Belsize Primary, but also the only suitable site available. Following extensive consultation and several years of working closely with Camden Council’s planning and conservation departments, as well as other agencies like Historic England, we were pleased that all our proposals were recommended for approval by the council’s Planning Committee in November last year.
As so much had been done on our behalf to secure the site for the permanent home we need and deserve, we know so many shared our shock and disappointment when the planning application to convert the former Hampstead Police Station for us was refused by the Planning Committee.
The Department for Education has now formally appealed against Camden Council’s decision to refuse planning permission.
What happens now?
An appeal usually involves an independent government planning inspector reviewing the case, and hearing evidence during a public hearing. We had expected that hearing to be held over the summer but, as the Planning Inspectorate is understandably following advice on social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it has been postponing site visits and hearings. This will affect the time it will take to deal with our appeal. We don’t yet know when an inspector will be appointed.
We will be providing regular updates here to make sure you have convenient access to up-to-date information on any developments and news of the inquiry when the time comes.
We are truly privileged to have such a strong and dedicated school community and we are all looking forward to continuing to work with you all to help justice prevail and deliver the positive outcome that everyone has been fighting so long and hard to realise, and which our children and community so richly deserve.
The appeal is a welcome sign that we aren’t alone in feeling that the council’s decision was unjust, and that there’s still a strong case that can be made for us to proceed as we’d always hoped and planned.