We were commissioned by Girls’ Day School Trust to prepare and submit a planning application for a new STEM building at Northwood College to facilitate the removal of the temporary accommodation. The new building will deliver ten new science laboratories as well as a new high quality main entrance to Northwood College including an exhibition/ makes space which will host both schools and community groups. Extensive landscape enhancements are also included as part of the proposals. The scheme had to be carefully considered in the context of the sites constraints, including its location within the Northwood and Green Lane Conservation Area and proximity to adjacent locally listed buildings.

Our Solutions

Following a refusal at planning committee in 2019 (due to perceived heritage impact), this project has involved revisiting the original project team and engaging a new heritage expert and landscape architect to review the scheme in heritage terms. A key part of this process was engaging with a communications consultants (who has extensive local insight) to establish whether there was a political backdrop to the Council's concerns. Since engaging with a new project team changes have been made to the proposals which led to a number of extremely positive meetings being held with the head of planning who confirmed their full support for the scheme and subsequently recommended the application for approval.

The Outcome

We successfully secured a resolution to grant planning permission for both a new STEM building and an extension to the temporary accommodation that it will eventually replace after Hillingdon Borough unanimously voted in favour of the proposal. We will now work alongside the Council and GDST to finalise the S.106 agreement for the scheme. The removal of the temporary science accommodation will also allow for the School tennis courts (which the temporary building is currently located on) to be fully reinstated, further enhancing the School’s sports offer.