Dance plans approved

The Royal Academy of Dance will be moving to a new purpose built headquarters in Battersea now Wandsworth Council has approved plans for the redevelopment of the Homebase warehouse store in York Road.

The scheme will replace the warehouse and its car park with a mixed use development that provides a new home for the RAD and 254 homes with communal landscaped gardens.

The Homebase site is within the council’s Housing Zone area covering Clapham Junction to Battersea Riverside. The whole zone covers 57 acres and is intended to provide 5,000 new homes, commercial floor space and 1,300 jobs.

The academy, which was founded in 1920 and whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen, has been based in the borough since 1972 but its current home in Battersea is cramped and no longer suitable to provide top quality dance tuition.

The new academy will offer bigger, brighter and better dance studios and performance space, with modernised changing rooms and office space, a library for RAD’s archives and two cafés.

The new housing will include 38 affordable units. The academy and homes will be provided in three new buildings, ranging in size from six storeys to 21.

Wandsworth’s planning chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “I am delighted that the Royal Academy of Dance has found a new home and is staying in the borough. Battersea has a long standing connection with RAD and I’m pleased this association will continue.

“This is a good scheme for this underused retail site and large car park and it makes a good contribution to the area’s housing needs.”

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