Chase New Homes have developed new plans for the former Friends' School site. Old Scholar and Committee Member Douglas Kent (YG 1986) gives the following explanation:
The plans relate to the part of the site that includes the main building and are in the form of a pre-application consultation with neighbours, ie no formal planning application has been submitted to the local authority yet and the developer is seeking comments from nearby residents first. Any application that is submitted will need to be ‘full’ (detailed) rather than ‘outline’ given that the premises lie wholly within a Conservation Area.
The application proposes to develop 88 new homes, 52 of which would be in the main building. Parts of this building would be ‘removed’ and ‘replaced’. Many existing buildings are being demolished, including the Essex wing (where the existing two-storey structure would be replaced with a three-storey one), the science labs, junior school, Leicester and Crosfield blocks, sports hall, assembly hall and music school. Twelve of the new homes are in a new wing off the main building (replacing the Essex wing), nine are ‘mews’ houses off The Avenue, four are flats in Croydon and eleven are mews houses where the existing assembly hall and music school are. Access to all would be via Mount Pleasant Road apart from the nine mews units on The Avenue.
Chase states disingenuously that there was no interest in continuing educational use on the site, which, of course, was far from the case.
Last but not least, the council followed up suggestions to try and locally list the historic wrought iron Croydon gate but has discovered that Chase have removed it from site for ‘safekeeping’.
A pre-app leaflet is attached.