The design changes we've made

  • Reduced pupil numbers by half from 420 to 210

  • Re-use of the existing building with very limited infill extension

  • Enhancements to Listed Building retaining important original features

  • Transport improvements – Car Free Policy / Walk to school plan

  • Reduced noise - no rooftop play area

What happened previously

As you may be aware, the Government’s Department for Education (DfE) bought the old Hampstead Police Station site for the school. The first planning application, for a two-form-entry school (420 pupils), was refused primarily because it would have led to the overdevelopment of the existing buildings.

Since the first planning application was turned down, Abacus Belsize Primary (and the DfE) have reflected carefully on how best to respond to the Council and community feedback. The school has gone back to first principles and plans to stay as a single-form-entry school (210 pupils) to better utilise the Police Station building. This approach will better suit the school and be a far more sympathetic solution for the historic building and the environment of the site.

Moving forward

The school has been talking to local groups and residents organisations and would now like to work more closely with the wider local community to provide a site that will both serve the needs of the school and positively contribute to the community and local environment. The school has carefully considered the reasons for the initial planning refusal and with comments from local residents has drawn up a new plan that it hopes answers questions around the sensitive development of the buildings and concerns regarding travel arrangements for children.


The school has undertaken a series of meetings and workshops with some of those most closely involved with the original application. Building on their feedback and our revised thinking, the school has developed some new draft plans which it would like to share with the community for their comment at a public exhibition.

A new home for Abacus Belsize Primary