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£10million Archway free school announces building schedule

10:48 06 June 2014

The former Ashmount School building

The former Ashmount School building

Archant

A new free school set to welcome pupils in September plans to finish the first phase of its building within a year opening.

Whitehall Park School – which will be built on the site of the former Ashmount Primary in Hornsey Rise – will teach two reception classes in temporary buildings until the first permanent classrooms are finished in September 2015.

The school, which is set to cost the government more than £10million to build, aims to complete all of the building work for the two form of entry facility in September 2017.

The land had been earmarked by Islington Council for new housing, which would provide the town hall with 82 homes and £3.5million towards the cost of rebuilding Ashmount School, in Crouch End Hill, but this plan was scuppered when the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, nominated the land for the free school.

It is yet to be decided whether half of the site could still be used to provide housing in a comprise offered up by Islington Council in January.

Plans are due to be submitted in autumn and doubts have been raised over whether the proposed timescale is realistic.

David Barry, former chair of governors at Ashmount Primary School, said: “If they’re looking at a rebuild it’s not a credible timetable.

“They’ve not allowed for any hold ups in the planning which are likely given asbestos in the building and interest from the likes of English Heritage for its architectural significance.

“Then you’ve got children in porter cabins right next to the building site. They’re likely to end up with nowhere to teach them should work get held up.”

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