New White City School To Be Part of Housing Development

Six blocks to be built on site of Ark Swift Primary

Ed City, View Along Australia Road. Picture: Ark Schools sourced from planning application

January 18, 2021

Plans to build a new school, nursery and youth centre in White City with 132 “affordable” flats built above them have moved a step closer.

The scheme, with six bear-brick blocks measuring from two to nine storeys tall, will be built on the existing 200-pupil Ark Swift Primary School.

Nestled between Australia Road and Darondo Close, and nicknamed “Ed City”, it will also include a public square and an east-west boulevard.

The project will be led by Ark Schools, which was originally given planning permission by Hammersmith and Fulham Council in early 2019.

Its tallest building will be a nine-storey office building for education charities. An eight-storey building will include flats and a ground-floor cafe, while a seven-storey building will house a new adult education centre.

Office Block Viewed From South Africa Rd. Pciture: t: Ark Schools Sourced from planning application

On Tuesday, 12 January, Ark was given the green light by councillors to increase the amount of discounted flats from 54 per cent to 100.

Until this point, the remaining 48 per cent of the new flats – which are all one and two-beds – would have been rented at market prices.

Funding for the increase in cheaper homes has come from the Mayor of London’s office, according to planning documents.

Under the revised plans, the tenure of the 132 flats will include:

33 flats available at “affordable rent”, or about 50 per cent of market price
38 flats available at “intermediate” rent, or 20 per cent cheaper than market price
61 flats available as shared ownership
Meanwhile, the new Youth Zone building would also have a “multiple-use games area” on its roof, and will be occupied by the charity OnSide.

The plot of land, which is owned by the council with a long lease held by Ark Schools, covers 144,670 metres squared – equal to two football pitches.

As well as Ark Swift School, built in the 1950s, the site comprises a Harmony Neighbourhood Nursery and an Adult Community Learning Centre, which will both be rebuilt.

On Tuesday, councillors voted unanimously to approve the changes.

In 2019 it was announced that the redevelopment would be worth £120 million and could be complete by 2023, but a revised time scale has yet to be announced.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter