School saved from wrecking ball after changes approved

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A school built in 2018 has been saved from the bulldozer after a council approved changes to the building.

Lewisham council had threatened Our Lady and St Philip Neri RC Primary School in Sydenham Road, Sydenham with demolition after it was constructed with the wrong cladding and windows.

But the school has been saved from the wrecking ball after the local authority approved alterations to the school, including new cladding, different coloured window frames and changes to the roof.

Councillors approved the alterations requested by the Archdiocese of Southwark – a branch of the Catholic Church – at a planning meeting on April 29.

Paul McCallum, from the Archdiocese of Southwark, apologised to the council for failures in the school’s construction that had almost ended in it being torn down.

Speaking at the meeting, he said: “I’m very sorry we’re here again.

“We made mistakes, and we subsequently appointed a new team. I hope you can see from the proposal tonight that we’ve learnt from them and worked collaboratively with the council to find a solution.

“The school opened in 2018. It’s not finished. That’s not good enough.

“What we want to do now is look forward, obtain planning approval and provide the children, the parents, the staff with a building that they and the rest of the community can be proud of.”

Pictured top: The revised design for the school

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