Click here to activate screen reader, translation and accessibility tools

23-25 North Birkbeck Road

Regeneration project at 23-25 North Birkbeck Road also known as the Leytonstone Learning Link

Background

In January 2020 the Council adopted a strategy intended to improve inclusion for children who, for various reasons, have been excluded from school. Investment from the Schools’ Capital Programme will allow us to create a range of different types of provision in secondary schools but also a key development of a new High Needs Centre and Family Resilience Centre. The site chosen for this flagship development is 23-25 North Birkbeck Road.

What is happening at 23-25 North Birkbeck Road?

The building used to be the site for the Leytonstone Learning Link but has been vacant for some time but now we have exciting plans to use the site to give better support to some of the most vulnerable children in the Borough. The current building will be demolished in February 2022. 

View planning application (PDF)

The Planning Committee granted planning permission for 23-25 North Birkbeck Road on 7 December 2021.

What will the new building be used for?

There will be two elements to the building. The Family Resilience Centre will accommodate the Youth Offending Service, currently based about half a mile away at Rowan House in Cecil Road. At the new Centre there will be counselling and therapy for children who have come into contact with the justice system and their carers, providing family therapy and restorative justice programmes. Some children will attend evening sessions and the Centre is likely to be open between 7am and 10pm with Saturday and Sunday hours probably being 10am to 4pm.This is part of the Council’s commitment to the “Child First, Offender Second” approach to youth justice and this was approved by the Council on 3 December 2020

The other side of the building will be a new High Needs Centre for up to twenty children who have been excluded from school and who are unlikely to return. This Centre will offer counselling and therapy alongside the basic subjects of Maths and English plus opportunities to learn skills in construction, catering, music recording and production and computer technology. There will also be a small-scale sports hall which will be used for indoor games but also as a space for drama and music performances. The aim is to provide excellent and equal opportunities for children to move on to further education or work, like their peers in regular schools.

Leytonstone Learning Link overhead view

Planning permission has been granted, and construction of the new building will start in Spring 2022 with completion expected in 2022. The new building will remain two storeys in height.

Image
Leytonstone Learning Link overhead view

The Family Resilience Centre artist impression

Image
The Family Resilience Centre artist impression

Community Statement of Involvement

View the Community Statement of Involvement, which includes the following content and appendices:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Public Consultation
  4. Outcome

Appendices:

 Public consultation

A project-specific website and newsletter was established to keep the community informed. A project-specific email address was also established.

Two letters were distributed to residents who would potentially be affected. Initial distribution was to all 5909 addresses in Cathall Ward. A second letter was sent to a more concentrated area of around 2400 addresses. See attached letters below and the maps in Appendices 4 and 5 of the Community Statement of Involvement.

Two online public consultation events were held in August 2021 and September 2021.

In response to requests from residents, a public event was held on 2 November at Downsell Primary School. This is approximately 600 metres walk from the proposed development site and was regarded as a suitably local venue.

The event at Downsell Primary School was attended by approximately twenty residents over a two-hour period. A series of exhibition boards detailing the proposals, including general arrangement plans, elevation plans, and 3D CGI were on display. 

Members of the Project Team attended the public event, including the Lead Architect, Head of Schools Delivery, Assistant Director for Youth & Family Resilience, Headteacher of Belmont Park School (proposed as the managers of the High Needs Centre) and the Senior Project Manager. Partners who work with these services, including representatives of the Metropolitan Police, and the Single Homeless Project (SHP) also attended. 

The main themes emerging from the responses from those who attended the event included;

  • Continued concern over the interaction between residents of the houses operated by the SHP (10 and 46 North Birkbeck Road) and the young people attending the High Needs Centre or Family Resilience Centre.
  • Concerns over parking provision for the new Centres and the impact of this on local people.
  • Comments in relation to the increase in traffic in the area.
  • Comments in relation to the lack of enforcement on the above points.
  • Support for the improvements to facilities for excluded children and young people generally.

Anticipated timeline

August 2021 - April 2022 - Demolish building

September 2021 - Planning application submitted

December 2021 - Planning permission granted from Planning Committee

January 2022 - Obtain tenders from contractors

May 2022 - Appoint contractor

July 2022 - Construction to start

April 2023 - Completion

Who can you contact?

Please drop an email to northbirkbeck@walthamforest.gov.uk We will be making regular updates to this web page so please look again regularly and subscribe to our newsletter below.