Palingswick House decision to be made

The West London Free School is to find out if Palingswick House can be transformed into its new home.

The school, which is currently based in Cambridge Grove, Hammersmith, is looking to turn Palingswick House in King Street into a new 4,300 sqm school for 600 pupils, aged 11-16.

The decision on whether to allow plans for the building to change its use to a school, to renovate the building and build an adjoining block at the site will be made at Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s planning committee today, October 16.

The application calls for the refurbishment of two Victorian ‘buildings of merit’ –  Palingswick House and the superintendent’s house, known as ‘The Lodge’. A four-storey building with a glass atrium, housing an assembly hall, kitchen and dining room and classrooms would be built alongside.

The plans show 20 standard classrooms, six science laboratories, two art studios, two music rooms, a main hall, a library, rooms for central support staff and administration facilities at the scheme.

Proposals for the scheme have been presented at two council Design Review Panels this year and changes suggested at those meetings appear in this revised plan.

Palingswick House was originally built around 1849 as a family home, but over the years has been used as an orphanage and workhouse, the orphanage’s superintendent’s house, a school, children’s home, hostel for diabetic children and a community resource centre.

If the plans get the green light, West London Free School – which opened in September 2011 – hopes to open at the King Street address next September (2013), with 360 pupils. Each following year the number of pupils would increase by 120 until the capacity of 600 students is reached in 2015. Primary school pupils at the free school would stay on in the current Cambridge Grove site.

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