By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
Pupils will get a new school after they had to leave their old building because of “numerous health and safety concerns”.
Students at Iqra Primary School will move into the new classrooms from next year, after Lambeth councillors approved plans to redevelop the school’s former Park Hill site in Clapham.
Under the proposals, the school’s ex-1970s blocks will be bulldozed and replaced with a new building with green roofs and solar panels.
All 236 kids who attended the Islamic school’s former site before its closure in June 2022 will be rehoused in the new building.
Pupils have been taught in a spare classroom at nearby Kings Avenue School since they had to leave the Park Hill site.
Headteacher Humaira Saleem said the new Department of Education (DofE) funded building would allow kids to receive top teaching in a safe environment.
In a statement read out on her behalf at a council meeting on Tuesday, she said: “I have witnessed the struggles and difficulties our students have faced every day due to the poor state of our current building. The current building is in a state of disrepair with outdated facilities, inadequate space and numerous health and safety concerns.
“Despite these obstacles, our school has provided excellent education to the children of Lambeth. It has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted and has continued to serve our community with distinction. We believe it is now time to build on this success and ensure our students can receive a high-quality education in a modern, safe and stimulating learning environment.”
Emma Penson, from planning consultants DWD said the buildings on the site were no longer suitable for the school.
Speaking on behalf of the DofE, she said: “The planning application provides a modern and quality school for the pupils and staff of Iqra. The existing buildings are no longer suitable for the school, being dated, in poor condition and at the end of their working life.
“The Department of Education are thrilled that the planning application is being recommended for approval tonight. They are very much looking forward to delivering a modern, high-quality primary school for the pupils and staff of Iqra.”
But Krysta Shimamura, a local resident who lives across from the school, said she was concerned about smells and noise because of the building’s design.
She told the meeting: “According to the odour assessment report, this property has been classified as high risk in odour. The kitchen and bin storage have been moved closer to our property.
“Design option three puts the playground and assembly hall closer to our house than in design option two. As individuals who work from home regularly, this will disrupt our work day. We work from home four days a week.”
A Lambeth council planning committee made up of five Labour councillors and one green councillor approved the new school at a meeting on February 21. One councillor abstained.
Pictured top: Iqra Primary School as it looks today (Picture: Lambeth council planning documents)
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