DC/19/11193: Our Lady and St Philip Neri RC Primary School, 208 Sydenham Road, SE26
Local Meeting Note 8th July 2019
Chair: Councillor Copley
Officers: Chris Dale (Service Group Manager Development Manager), James Hughes
(Development Management Team Leader – South Area) and Georgia McBirney (Planning
Applicants: Richard Pell (FTT), Steven Morrice (Marwood), Sean McGrath (Indigo) and
Matthew Ringman (Head teacher)
Number of attendees:
Councillor Copley gave a short introduction to the local meeting explaining the format of the
meeting and that meeting would finish at 9pm. Councillor Copley also explained that the
application would be determined by a planning committee.
The applicant team presented the proposed development. Sean McGrath explained that
current application (DC/19/111793) is a minor material amendment to application
DC/16/096041 which was approved in 2016, and this arose due to issues with practicality
and build-ability of the approved scheme.
Richard Pell presented the differences between the consented scheme (DC/16/096041) and
the proposed amendments on each elevation in turn.
Matthew Ringman the Head teacher of the school explained that the school staff would like
the project to be finished as soon as possible for the sake of the children who attend the
Q & A
Councillor Copley invited questions and comments from the audience.
Q: Question, A: Answer and S: Statement
Q: A local resident asked what will happen with the tarmac.
A: The applicant team stated that the playground would be tarmacked and that this is the
same as previously proposed.
Q: A local resident stated that objectors are concerned for the safety of the children
attending the school and that they were in favour if supporting the original scheme but are
concerned that what has been delivered is not what was approved (DC/16/096041) and the
safety concerns are in relation to contamination and asbestos.
A: The applicant team stated that Part A of the land remediation condition has been
discharged, that Part B of this condition is only required to be discharged if something else
was found which is different to what was stated in Part A and that Part C of the land
remediation condition can only be discharged once the scheme has been completed.
James Hughes outlined that Part A has been discharged but stated that this should have
been discharged prior to the occupation of the building.
Q: A local resident asked whether blinds would be added to the windows.
A: The applicant team stated that blinds would be added internally to the windows.
Q: A local resident asked for clarification of the material of the fins to the hall building.
A: The applicant team stated that consented scheme (DC/16/096041) was approved with
timber fins and that these are proposed to be replaced by steel fins for fire safety concerns
and due to the durability of the material.
Q: A local resident asked what the noise impact would be of the metal fins as the metal fins
could reflect noise more than timber fins.
A: The applicant team stated that the fins would not be the boundary between the rooftop
playground and the fins as an internal fence is proposed between so the children would not
be able to touch the fins. The applicant team also stated that they do not think in terms of
reflecting noise there would be a difference between timber and steel fins.
Q: A local resident raised concerns that the Home Park entrance is not being used as the
main entrance the school.
A: Matthew Ringmore, the Head Teacher of the school stated that the Home Park entrance
is used as the main entrance but due to safeguarding any visitors to the school use the
entrance on Sydenham Road and that the Sydenham Road entrance is used by the children
when they leave after-school clubs.
Q: Councillor Copley asked when the improvements to Home Park would be completed.
A: The applicant team stated that the works to Home Park would be completed this summer.
Q: A local resident raised concern in regards to the safety of the site due to issues with the
land remediation condition.
A: James Hughes outlined that the closure report would need to be signed off by
Environmental Health. James Hughes also advised that the Council’s CYP department had
visited the site and have said the site is safe.
Q: A local resident raised concern that the applicant team are rushing to get things
completed and it is unclear if all the relevant sign offs have been granted in regards to
environmental health and asbestos.
A: The applicant team stated that there is misunderstanding with local residents and that full
asbestos report was undertaken and signed off. Asbestos was found in the roof and in the
boiler room but was disposed of correctly.
Q: A local resident asked why were children on the site when the old school was
demolished, if asbestos was found in the building.
A: The applicant team stated that minimal levels of asbestos was found and that HSE were
on site during the works.
Q: A local resident stated that in regards to asbestos concerns that reassurance to
neighbours during these works would have been helpful as there was a lack on consultation
in regards to this.
A: The applicant team stated that this could be have been improved.
Q: A representative from the Sydenham Society outlined that the society did not object to the
original application, but are of the view that a new full planning application should be
submitted so that consultation takes place, the Home Park entrance is appreciated but the
works to Home Park should have been done before. The representative from the Sydenham
Society went onto outline that the proposed works are not minor and raised the following
The grey cladding is inappropriate
London Stock brick would be more appropriate
There is no light and shadow on the building
The BREAAM rating has been reduced
The applicants are treating the school and council with contempt
A: The applicant team stated that they do not know why the works to Home Park had
stopped and that the works to Home Park would be done this summer.
The applicant team stated they do not view the proposed scheme to massively different to
the consented scheme. The applicant team went on to state that on the original application
that all of the materials were secured by condition apart from the timber fins.
Q: A local resident stated that the material quality has been downgraded, the articulation has
been removed from the building and height of the building as shown in the street elevation is
A: The applicant team stated that the building is the minimum height is needs to be to
comply with the standards for educational buildings.
Q: A local resident stated they are not against school facilities, but the quality of what has
been built is not acceptable, the building is ugly and the windows are too large.
A: The applicant team stated the concerns raised are concerns with the original application.
Q: A local resident stated that the building is too large, has a harmful visual appearance, and
that the building would not have been acceptable in a Conservation Area so why is it
acceptable in Lower Sydenham.
A: The applicant team stated that some of these concerns are with the original scheme
which has permission.
S: A local resident and parent of a child at the school stated that it needs to be remembered
that the building is a school and it needs to be fully working for the sake of the children and
staff of the school.
Q: A local resident stated that the building has no character and it does not enhance the
area and also highlighted that the issue with the Home Park entrance is that it does not look
like the main entrance. A date needs to be put on the Home Park conditions for the school
and for residents.
A: James Hughes stated that the applicants are still required to comply with the Home Park
Q: A local resident and parent of a child at the school stated that it is not the most attractive
building but it is not the ugliest building and asked when it is likely to be finished.
A: James Hughes outlined the Section 73 process.
S: A parent of a child at the school stated that the children of the school do not have a play
area, the process should be brought to a close , and the children’s voices should be heard
as the length of time is not fair on the children.
S: A parent of a child at the school stated that they acknowledge that it is not the most
beautiful building but it is not that different from what was approved, questions on safety are
valid but cosmetic concerns are not fair on the children. It is not fair that the school has been
a building site since it opened.
Q: A local resident asked what are the long term implications of accepting a Section 73
application as this will set a precedent for other developers.
A: Councillor Copley stated that the proposal will be assessed on its merit and will be
assessed against policy. Councillor Copley confirmed that the application will be determined
by a planning committee.
Q: A local resident stated that the scope of the works to Home Park needs to be clear.
A: The applicant team stated that works to Home Park have already been approved and the
works are not to the whole park.
Q: A local resident stated they are not against the school but the quality of the design is not
acceptable and asked if a representative from the Diocese is at the meeting.
A: Simon Hughes, a representative from the Diocese who was sat in the audience, stated
they are trying to rectify the situation and apologised for the delays.
S: A school governor stated that originally the Education Department of the Council were
involved in the original scheme and the project was taken over by the Diocese due to
S: A local resident stated that the fault cannot be placed on the previous architects if Built Off
site were submitting applications a few months after the consent and the drawings are dated
prior to the submission of the original application.
Q: A parent of a child of the school asked what the chances of the works being completed
A: The applicant team stated that decision will not be made in time to the works will have be
completed next summer.
Councillor Copley closed the meeting at 9pm