Plans to demolish old New Malden care home for school expansion 

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Plans have been submitted to demolish a former care home and physiotherapy practice in South London to accomodate the expansion of a junior school.

Hobkirk House and Noble Centre, in New Malden, would be bulldozed to provide extra play space needed for Burlington Junior School.

Kingston Council has submitted an application for prior approval to demolish both buildings on Blagdon Road, to the north of the school, which are no longer in use. 

Former Noble Centre, Blagdon Road, New Malden. Credit – Google Maps

Hobkirk House was a care home, while the Noble Centre was a physiotherapy practice. The rest of the wider Noble Hobkirk site is set to be sold off.

It comes after the council approved plans to extend the school in 2022 by bulldozing the main building for a new teaching block and sports hall, along with adding two new multi-use games areas and a playground. The scheme will expand the school from four to five forms of entry.

The Department for Education (DfE) has advised the extended school will need an extra 8 per cent of play space to meet the existing provision. The council explored different options to allow this and chose demolishing Hobkirk House and the Noble Centre as the preferred option.

A report with the application said the DfE has set December 31 as the deadline for the completion of the extra play space. It added: “Additionally, there is a prospective buyer for the northern portion of the site. If the site is unavailable to the prospective buyer by the same date of December 31 2024, with all buildings demolished and the site cleared, then the buyer will have the option to terminate the deal to purchase the land.

“Therefore, this presents a financial risk to the council and a risk to the school in delivering the additional play space required. This application for the prior approval of demolition works is intended to move the scheme and development process forward to meet these important deadlines.”

Kingston Council will decide on the application in due course. A separate planning application for the proposed works to create extra play space for the school is expected to be submitted in summer.


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