Community Asset to be stripped?

Epsom’s Kingswood House School faces closure as developers move in.

Sited in West Hill Epsom for over 100 years this renowned special educational needs and disability (SEND) school is facing the termination of its lease as developers seek to build a housing estate on the land. 250 pupils enjoy first class facilities and green space at the Council’s recently recognised “Asset of Community Value”. This is a rare accolade, unusual for a school and reflects the high value of the school to the local community. Also, the school has been shortlisted by Independent School Parent magazine for an award in this year’s annual Contribution to Social Mobility category.

Tomorrow (Thursday 5pm 7th July) at The Cricketers Pub, Stamford Green Road, Epsom the freehold owners of the land, (James, Richard and David Aczel) are staging a “public consultation”.

Richard Evans, the Chair of the School’s governors said “Our school is already a thriving SEND-focused school for 250 boys and girls and the proposed school is on a small part of the site and will only accommodate a fraction of this number.”

Headmaster Duncan Murphy said “100% of the site should be kept for a school, and no housing should be allowed. Although the landlords will say otherwise, there are other sites for housing which are far more appropriate.” The school are urging local residents to attend the meeting at the Cricketers and make their views known.

The freeholders claim “Epsom is far behind its local housing delivery targets and needs a great deal of housing for local people, with a high demand for family housing. The scheme delivers a specialist school for local children that will be funded by the local education authority. The scheme delivers new local housing with 1, 2, 3 & 4 bed homes. All high quality and with parking (incl electric charging) and grounds to provide a high standard of design. This is a local scheme for local people. The scheme is highly sustainable, re-using buildings where possible and creating highly energy efficient new buildings where required.”

Below is the registered land (edged red) leased till March 2023 by the Axzels to Kingswood House School Trust and an aerial view of the site. Lastly, the proposed development demonstrating how most if not all the green space available to 250 pupils will be swallowed up by new housing.

Title plan of Kingswood House School’s lease (edged red).
Aerial view of Kingswood House School’s site.
New development in grey and proposed reduced school site in colour.

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