Modern teaching facilities will replace “crumbling” classrooms at an Enfield primary school after plans for a new building were approved.
Walker Primary School has been given the green light to build new facilities – including a new IT centre – at its site in Waterfall Road, Southgate.
Plans for the new building were deferred in December last year after concerns were raised that the design could harm the surrounding conservation area.
Planning officer Kevin Tohill told a planning committee meeting on Tuesday (April 23) that the designs had been amended and the building would make “a more positive contribution to the conservation area”.
Cllr Stephanos Ioannou, Conservative member for Southgate and a school governor at Walker, spoke in support of the plans.
He said: “When a school such as Walker has a waiting list of 79 for the reception class, it is fair to say there is considerable demand from local families for this school.
“This new building will be vital in securing the future of all the parties involved in Walker School.
“Should this go ahead, pupils will arrive at a school with new frontage, new model classrooms and a sensible sized hall for P.E. lessons”
“And, of course, extending the vegetable patch so that the next generation can learn about sustainable living.
“Most important is that the redevelopment plans incorporate an ICT (information communications technology) suite so pupils can gain knowledge of a key sector in our economy.”
Cllr Ioannou said the school was in such a state that teachers had to place buckets around corridors to catch water falling from leaking roofs and the headteacher had had to mop up a flooded classroom.
He said it was no exaggeration to say the school was “literally crumbling” and even the parents of some current pupils had been taught in temporary cabins while they were at Walker.
Cllr George Savva, Labour member for Haselbury, said: “This is a state-of-the-art school that will cater for the needs of children, families and the community for children to be educated in a proper manner.
“Children learn better if they are in a good environment.
“The head is there to run the school and not to mop up.”
The committee voted unanimously to approve the plans.
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