A pair of Southwark special schools could be moved to make way for more than 170 new homes.
The site of Beormund Primary School, in Long Lane, and the adjacent Porlock Hall pupil referral unit could provide space for 123 new homes as part of the council’s ‘regeneration in partnership programme’.
The special school, which currently accommodates 35 full-time primary pupils with social, emotional and mental health issues, could be moved to a new purpose-built building at the Bellenden Primary School site, in Peckham.
Bellenden Primary is expanding to a new purpose-built two form entry school in the nearby Dewar Street in 2018, therefore the site will become vacant.
Cherry Garden School – a special school in Macks Road – is set to move to a new building at the former Highshore School site in Bellenden Road to allow for 50 homes to be built on the Bermondsey site.
In 2015, the News reported that the former Highshore School building in Bellenden Road, which had stood empty since the school relocated to Camberwell in 2013, would be knocked down to make way for the new development.
The council’s proposals to move the schools to new buildings in order to build much-needed properties to tackle the housing crisis were to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening (March 21).
The proposals are expected to provide much-needed additional places for children with special educational needs and disabilities in Southwark.
Teresa Neary, headteacher at Cherry Garden School, said: “We are excited about moving to such a vibrant community and are very keen to develop strong partnerships within the local community.
“The facilities on the new site will be amazing, with hydropool, full-sized trampoline room, specialist rooms and sensory playground areas with tree houses.
“We will be able to take up to 85 pupils which will enable us to make provision for a wider range of need.
“We will continue to support pupils with complex needs including pupils on the autistic spectrum. However, there will be increased provision for SLD/MLD pupils in Key Stage 2 and a large early years department with some pupils on assessment placements.
“We will also continue to maintain a satellite class which will be based at Cherry Garden.”
In July 2013 the council pledged to build a total of 11,000 new homes over a 30-year period, and in July pledged to deliver 1,500 of those homes by 2018.