Partner selected for £22m schools programme

Wed 17 October 2012, 3:30 pm

Enfield Council has selected a develoment partner for a 22 million building programme in which 11 primary schools are earmarked for expansion.

Cornerstone Property Assets will work with the authority on the plans, which will be part-funded by the sale of a former transport depot that will be developed for housing.

If the school-expansion plans are ratified, some 2,400 new school places will be created by Cornerstone, working with Scape framework contractors Kier and Willmott Dixon, Yorkon, and architects Surface to Air.

Enfield is now some three weeks into a consultation on which schools should be expanded.

If the current schools proposals get the go-ahead, work will begin in the spring so that the new facilities will be ready for the start of the 2013 school year.

The council will be funding the primary programme through Basic Need Funding, which will be supplemented by a land sale to Cornerstone of a transport depot in Melling Drive, Enfield, that is due to be decommissioned.

Cornerstone plans to develop the site for residential use.

Cornerstone chief executive Tim Byles said Enfield’s shortage of school spaces was part of a wider problem across the capital, with recent statistics from London Councils pointing to a “black hole of 90,000 primary and secondary school places” by 2016.

“Enfield is taking a highly innovative approach to addressing their shortfall, and subject to the consultation, we very much look forward to working with them to create the additional places in safe, secure facilities in time for the new school year in 2013,” he said.

Councillor Ayfer Orhan, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said Cornerstone had been appointed in advance of a final decision on the project to “minimise delays”.

“Should we proceed with this major project I look forward to working with Cornerstone to provide the primary school places we so desperately need in Enfield,” he said.

The schools currently being considered for expansion include: Broomfield School, Edmonton County School, Garfield, George Spicer, Grange Park, Highfield, Houndsfield, Oakthorpe, Prince of Wales, Walker and Worcesters primary schools.